Alliance of Communist Party of South Africa and PFDJ Regime: For what?

Bizarre Diplomatic Relationship

Whenever one mentions South Africa, “the Apartheid system” and “Nelson Mandela” are a universal flash to everyone. The first being a racial taboo imposed by the whites and the later a man who fought to end the system.

nelson-mandelaThese two extremes converged at one once the Apartheid system was abolished and Mandela triumphed after his long quest to complete South African emancipation.  Since then, South Africa became the hub of tolerance and human dignity.

I am not here today to talk about South Africa or the system that had ruined the rights of SOuth Africans but about silent and wierd relationship a South African Diplomat and a Communist Party of South Africa have with one of the extremely totalitarian regime in Africa, the PFDJ Regime of Eritrea.

South Africa opened its embassy in Eritrea in the year of 2004. Prior to that, there was no noticeable diplomatic relationships and I rarely read news about South Africa in the Eritrean news outlets.

However, with the assignment of new ambassador(2012), South Africa started to surface on major political, cultural and business news activities via Eritrean and some South African news outlets. But I was not aware who was behind these new movements until I came to know an Ambassador named Iqbal Jhazbhay.

The first time Ambassador  Iqbal Jhazbhay came to my attention was when he participated in Bologna Festival held in July 2014 by PFDJ on the occassion of 40th anniversary of one of EPLF’s historical festival during the armed struggle. He was the only foreign diplomat who participated in the festival and delivered a speech. 

Another event that forced me to pay a closer look was on October 30, 2014, when Asmara hosted first of its kind festival organized in collaboration with the office of the South African Embassy and PFDJ regime. The festival which is held on the occasion to mark 10th anniversary of Eritrean-South African ties is nothing but a political exhaustion. According to the report, Professor Iqbal Jhazbhay explained to the participants the festival will enhance the political, economic, cultural, as well as diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Professor Iqbal Jhazbhay : Who is he?

Professor Iqbal Jhazbhay was a South African Ambassador to Eritrea from 2012 to 2016. As an Ambassador, he had a mission to accomplish in line to the interest of South Africa in Eritrea. However, his diplomatic mission had a nature of secretive and unusual merge between business and political interests.

Inspite of some public funfares and mass media appearances, neither the people nor the country represented had any transparent and known diplomatic relationships. From what I tried to follow, it wast purely business oriented, exploitative and camouflaged friendship that aimed at extracting the natural resources of Eritrea via PFDJ and South African mining companies and active duties in the political affairs of Eritrea including in the participation of diaspora festivals and meetings organized by PFDJ. In addition, Professor Iqbal’s appeared to have a strong interest in the geo-politics of the horn of Africa, especially Somalia.

In many occasions, he appeared to represent Eritrea in diplomatic missions. Usually accompanied by Ambassador Tesfamichale Gerahtu, there could be some link between these diplomats that dates back to early 2000.

But, who is Professor Iqbal Jhazbhay and why he accompanied PFDJ officials in some important foreign meetings? Why Ambassador Tesfamichael Gerahtu had strong relationship with him?

Ambassador Tesfamichael Gerahtu’s relationship between these two ambassadors rooted back to early 2000s when the Eritrean Ambassador known for his antagonistic approach was there to dismantle the Eritrean student movement in South Africa? According to the news report, an official diplomatic relationship was launched in 2004, three years after the university student movements.

To look into the bibliography of  Professor Iqbal Jhazbhay, in his linkdin profile, the following information is written.

“Iqbal Jhazbhay is South Africa’s Ambassador to the State of Eritrea. Formerly Professor at the University of South Africa and the previous Director of the Unisa Centre for Arabic and Islamic Studies. He holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa and, studied Arabic and Islamic sciences in Cairo, Riyadh, Manchester and Johannesburg. 

His research interests include Islam in Somaliland and Somalia, South African Islam, Sufism, Political Islam, South African foreign policy towards North Africa and the Middle East, international relations and Islam. 

He was a visiting scholar at Princeton University’s Department of Near Eastern Studies and London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies.

He has authored the book, ”Somaliland: An African struggle for nationhood and international recognition”, some twenty-two academic articles and chapters on Islamic thought, Somaliland and South African foreign policy.

He is a member of the board of directors of the Institute for Global Dialogue –an International Relations think-tank established by former President Nelson Mandela. Serves on the ANC’s NEC Sub-Committee of International Relations, its newly-formed International Relations Rapid Response Task Team and chaired the ANC’s Sudan Task Team. He previously served on the ANC’s Commission for Religious Affairs. He was elected as Rapporteur of the ANC’s International Solidarity Conference (2012).”

Well, here we get some traces of this good Ambassador to be a good fortune for PFDJ cover-up. The professor known for his academic studies related with Somalia and PFDJ’s link and involvement in the Somalia’s affairs, no one can be worth enough to be a firsthand good friend for an evil diplomatic relationships.

Of course, there are some South African companies which are operating in mining activities. And from far, the diplomatic relationships can be somehow bizarre to an observer from far and can be taken for granted. But the truth might be different especially by looking into the biography of the Ambassador and the ruling Junta. Ambassador Tesfamichael is good in this kind of diplomatic friendships and indeed his mission to South Africa is still on ground.

In an interview done with Somaliland Times on January 16, 2004, the website has also recorded Professor Iqbal Jhazbhay’s background as, “A  director of Johannesburg-based Institute of Global Dialogue and is also convener of the Middle East study group at the South African Institute of International Affairs.” This shows that the professor’s presence in Eritrea is beyond his official diplomatic mission.

Eritrea has a sanction imposed by UN in relation to its link with Al-Shabab and other forces that override the peace of the horn of Africa. I do not have any information whether South Africa involves in Somalia or in other horn African countries, but the presence of this ambassador in Eritrea is something that has to be investigated further.

What the Communist Party of South Africa is doing in Eritrea?

I thought South Africa is a liberal democratic country with political parties who favor human rights. After experiencing a system of extreme racial discrimination, it is hard to imagine anyone from South Africa ignores what a dictatorial state is. Unfortunately, one of the oldest political party from South Africa is seeking alliance with one of the most brutal regime Africa has ever faced after the end of cold war.

Communist Party of South Africa was founded in 1921. For its role in the struggle against aparthaid, it was banned as a legal political party in South Africa but has played a role in the termination of Aparthaid system by allying itself with other political forces, called the Triparthite Allaince. Nevertheless, it managed to strive throughout the Aparthaid period and some of its leading members were part of the post-aparthaid government. And the party was abandoning its socialism concept and came to conclude that that Stalinism had failed. As a party it continued to exist by sharing power with African National Congress and Congress of South African Trade Unions.

Though its political influence is insignificant, the intention to expand its alliance with the Eritrean totalitarian regimes is a sign of the revival of its old political ideology. Such kind of alliance unique and it deserves full scrunity. The visit was accompanied by Professor Iqbal Jhazbhay and three other SACP members.

With the coming of Professor Iqbal Jhazbhay there was a semi-transparent relationship between SACP and its alliance with the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice(PFDJ) as it was highlighted above. What makes this relationship unique is that eventhough Professor Iqbal Jhazbhay was an ambassador who represented South Africa, what he did and still continuing to do is too strengthen the relationship at a party level.

It might seem a conspiracy theory but with the on-going geopolitical development of the horn of Africa in general and Somalia in particular, SACP and PFDJ could have a share in the affairs of Somalia. But this may seem to far. Of course, with the declining power of PFDJ, to get such kind of party to party relationship has an advantage, especially to PFDJ. As a consequence, it might have an impact on the political landscape of Eritrea. Not only this,  it may also strength PFDJ’s dirty role in Ethiopian internal politics via the Somali region and in the making of Somaliland.

Observing this kind of diplomatic relationship, as an Eritrean, Professor Iqbal Jhazbhay and SACP’s alliance I can imagine its awful impact. I am saying this based on South Africa experience during the high time of oppression. Any party or organization that moves to create alliance with PFDJ can be considered either as unconsciousness about Eritrea situation or does not care about the human rights situation of citizens. And when such move comes from South African political party, it gives an alert how fast history can be forgotten.

Of course Professor Iqbal Jhazbhay will continue his dirty business, both in Eritrea and in Somalia. But, as a people and those who are fighting for our rights to be respected, any kind of alliance with the oppressor leverages to suspend our suffering. On this occasion, I call Professor Iqbal Jhazbhay and South Africa Communist Party to distance from PFDJ. Otherwise, it is against what South Africans, including SACP, fought for and against humanity. Therefore, I call them to refrain. Not only to refrain, but to help Eritrean people to fight against injustice that has been continuing since 1991.

Sources:

  1. http://somalilandtimes.net/2003/105/10506.shtml
  2. http://www.shabait.com/news/local-news/18317-festival-staged-to-mark-10th-anniversary-of-eritrean-south-african-diplomatic-ties-
  3. https://www.linkedin.com/pub/iqbal-jhazbhay/4/893/700
  4. http://www.unisa.ac.za/default.asp?Cmd=ViewContent&ContentID=24283
  5. http://awate.com/eritrea-few-embassies-many-chanceries/
  6. https://www.nelsonmandela.org/omalley/index.php/site/q/03lv03445/04lv03446/05lv03462.htm
  7. http://www.sacp.org.za/main.php?ID=340
  8. http://www.cosatu.org.za/show.php?ID=11667

 

The Toothless Sanction is lifted and the Goons are Celebrating at the cost of Gadaa-System Evangelists

Eurkea Goons!

The sanction imposed on 23 December 2009 – Resolution 1907(2009) and strengthened on 5 December 2011 – Resolution 2023(2011) is finally lifted on 14 November 2018 – Resolution 2444 (2018), thanks to the Qeerros and Gadaa System Grandmaster Dr. Abiy Ahmed.

Toothless sanction left PFDJ powerless

The toothless sanction is lifted from their[the PFDJites and Nihna – Nisu cheer leaders] coward head. As goony as they are, they were campaigning non-stop against the sanction which they were dismissing it as a toothless sanction.

No matter how they tried to make it toothless, the sanction had lots of teeth – double, 64, all diamond-tipped teeth. It made PFDJ toothless. As a result, it forced PFDJ to change its strategy of dealing with its imaginary enemy (the Woyane) from direct confrontation to a more moderate and indirect propaganda supported by proxy-war conducted by confused rebel groups.

The sanction had lots of tools to make PFDJ regime powerless. It blocked the regime from buying arms that made it impossible to conduct direct war, frozen bank accounts and assets of targetted politicians and made travel outside the country impossible which had a drastic impact in diminishing their diplomatic and lobbying activities.

Through the sanction that stayed for almost a decade PFDJ politicians were diminished to a state where they were unable to conduct their sinister political agenda as they wanted. It let the PFDJ political arena to be left with only and only one last option – normalize its relationship with Ethiopia and other neighboring countries. To achieve this, it channeled all its remaining forces to remove any force that made PFDJ unfit for a regional player – the Woyane.

How PFDJ did it?

For good, PFDJ played well with the last card it had in its table – to change the powerhouse in Ethiopia. For this, the Oromos were evangelized through their old but lost treasury found by an Eritrean Anthropologist after almost forty years of hard work.

Once the Gadaa System was made ready, the good Professor stationed himself in Asmara in search of new generation Oromo disciplines who are fearless from Ethiopian rulers brutality. Thanks to the relatively free environment created in Ethiopia, these Social Media Activists influenced new generation Oromo youth were able to organize themselves in small groups, calles the Qeerros, soon emerged as the fastest growing movement against the Woyane controlled Ethiopian government. These youth are literally product of Gadaa System Prophesy.

They were fascinated about their new Holy Gadaa Book. It was not complicated and was easy to recite it. Once the book reached into their door front, it ignited their ego of becoming the players of change. It gave them legitimacy and pride to create an Oromonized version of Ethiopia – the Gadaanized Ethiopian System.

The Oromos adored their new but old Holy Gadaabook. Professor Asmerom Legesse is considered their Messiah. And, they accepted the Eritrean dictator, as their Gadaa-given honorary emperor.

The Oromos, having their own Gadaa system, they became determined to remove Woyane from the Ethiopian House. To do this, new disciplines were trained to be warriors – the Qeerros

And they did it. Thanks to the new Grandmaster of Gadaaevangelist Dr. Abiy Ahmed and his brothers(Gadaa Brotherhood members and their disciplines), once he controlled the throne, he welcomed his emperor, Dictator Isaias Afewerqi to the Old Ethiopian house, the House of Solomon, the House of the Ethiopianists, the House of the Council of Ethiopian Royal Families, the Amharas.

fb_img_15422212820061300642367.jpg
The Honorary Emperor of the Gadaa System, Dictator Isaias Afewerqi

Voià, Woyane is gone for good. And, PFDJ has won, thanks to the newly Gadaa-evangelized Qeerros

Now, the toothless sanction is lifted. The goons are dancing and Eritreans are continuing to die.

What is at stake for Eritreans?

Nothing has changed for Eritreans. We, the oppressed people, will continue to suffer as we have been before and during the sanction. The sanction has nothing to do with Eritreans and was not meant to solve Eritrean problems or stop suffering. Before, Eritreans were subjected to PFDJ imposed sanction and the result is widespread and systematic crimes which are proved to be “Crimes Against Humanity” that is continuing to exist since 1991.

The Grandmaster of Gadaa System and his disciplines may adore their honorary emperor, but for us[Eritreans], he is a brutal killer. One day, very soon. the Gadaa-Evangelists will realize they stood on the wrong side by honoring a regime similar to what they know and fought against.

The world should know that we do not want any Messiah. What we need is just full freedom. What we are standing for is for our dignity and to fight for our RIGHTS and Democracy.

The goons will continue to support the regime and we will continue to fight against Tyranny. The time will come were all justice-loving Eritreans will celebrate for the freedom they are looking for.

The End of PFDJ Lobbying Activity in USA

PFDJ Lobbying activity in #USA is finally exposed when the main lobbying agent, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) , is found to have link with Putin

NY Times Just Revealed Russian Government Groomed A Republican Congressman As An “Asset”

Sophia Tessfamarian enjoying coffee with Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)

Some background about Dana Rohrabacher

Dana Rohrabacher in his active lobbying session

PFDJ is a Male Chauvinist political organization: The case of Eritrean Women

A news report of November 20, 2017 published in the only existing Eritrean news has brought into my attention what I was thinking about the PFDJ nature of male chauvinism. The report, as given below, reports that a conference was held in Massawa to discuss about women in general and women students in particular about mesntrual cycle related topics such how to deal with psychological stresses and hygiene related issues during menstrual.

The conference was held based on a research findings about Problems and Challenges women during menstrual cycle. The research was conducted in 10 schools scattered around the country,

The conference was held in corporation with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health and other stakeholders[though not mentioned, they are PFDJ members, Administrators, and Ministry of defence].

women in Eritrea

What strucked my attention is about the participants. It was not a surprise but a revelation about the nature of PFDJ control power. Though the objective of the conference was about women issues, those who participated in the conference are dominated by men. Only 13 women were present among 30 men. It is almost 3 men to 1 woman ratio.

This is not abnormal under PFDJ rule. No one has a power to talk about his cause. PFDJ appointed officers talk on behalf of everybody. What makes it disturbing is PFDJ has so many promotions on securing women rights.

Eritrea is accused of committing rape and sexual harrassement to its women citizens which may be amounted to crimes against humanity. Yemane Gebremeskel, Director of Presidential Office and Minister of Information, once said, “rape, like many parts of the world, happens here and there.”

Women are not free to fight for their rights. The only women association that exists in Eritrea is under full control of PFDJ political office. Even in high UN meetings, Eritrean women are accompanied by men who talk on their behalf. For example, in this photo, Ambassador Ghirma Asmeron and UNDP representative in Eritrean were talking on behalf of Eritrean women delegates.

eritrean women in UN

Eritrean women were the main actors during the armed struggle for liberation making more than 30% of the over all fighters. They were supposed to secure a right place by having equal power as men. Unfortunately, 26 years after independence, they are even unable to talk about their most striking natural issues.

On behalf, they are dominated by male chauvinists. Men decide what is right for them and what should do in their life, including their biological nature.

Switzerland: Unrefined Gold from Bisha Mining – Eritrea is stashed in Swiss Banks

On 30/08/2017, Swiss News media revealed a secret gold trade activity between Eritrea and Swiss companies. The trade which is reported of being executed from 2011 to 2013 enabled Switzerland to buy 22 tonnes of unrefined gold that costs about 400 million francs. According to the report, it is not known whether the Federal Government of Swiss was aware of the business activity or not.

yearly_purchase

Source: SFR

The report which was made available to public first by Swiss News website called  www.aargauerzeitung.ch in the early afternoon (13:12 European time) and then a TV channel,  SFR, which broadcasted a 10 minutes short documentary has expressed their concern on possible violation of human rights in the site of production and its possible implication in the business.

To watch Full Report, please click here

There are about 32 companies actively engaged in gold trades from Switzerland. Since 2013, they have managed to raise their mining share holdings in the National Swiss National Bank of Silver and Gold Portfolio from USD 500 million to USD 1 billion in 2016.  As shown in figure below, these companies have shown a substanitial increase in their wealth shares.

mining shares SNB

Swiss Gold Trade Companies Mining Share in SNB in 2013 and 2016. (Source: click here)

If we take a closer look, the companies which suceeded in this accumulation of huge money might have benefitted from this secretive gold business activity that might allowed them to save huge money.

Eritrea is accused of forced labour by UN for Human Rights Council for using conscripted soldiers to work in Bisha mining center. In addition to low salary, the environment is not secure to safeguard the well being of the workers and the environment. Currently, Bishing Mining Company is sued by its former employee in Canada.

Swiss Banks have a long history of conducting secret business with PFDJ regime. For example, in 2015, information that was leaked about HSBC revelaed that 32 Eritrean individuals with a savings of more than USD 690 million deposited in the years between 1981 to 2006. 

Ambassador Hanna Simon Involved in her sister’s release, Journalist​ Ruth Simon, from detention

In an interview conducted with Voice of America(VOA Tigrigna program), Hanna Simon, Eritrean Ambassador in France, revealed her involvement in her sister’s release, Ruth Simon, from detention who was detained on April 25, 1997 for reporting what President Isaias Afewerki said in a seminar during Sudan – South Sudan war of separation.

Ruth Simon was the first journalist to be detained in Eritrea. Though the reason for her detention was not a secret in its time, Ambassador Hanna Simon stated she [her sister] had an issue with the government without giving further information.

VOA journalist, Tewelde Woldegebriel, asked Ambassador Hanna Simon why she was imprisoned and if she ever happened to intervene in her sister’s case. Without elaborating in detail(she said that she can’t say more in this interview), the Ambassador could not deny her involvement

In her words [Translated from Tigrigna],

“I don’t know why I have to be asked again and again about my sister. Yes, she was in prison, because she had some issues with the government. And it was settled and she was released. Yeah, may be, I played some role in helping her get released. But I am not here to speak about it. It’s a closed case. Why is she not working as a journalist, you have to ask her. May be she doesn’t like the profession. At this time she has another job and she is living happily with her family. Even she visited [me] two or three times since my arrival in Paris” 

When she was asked about other journalists who are still in prison, she said that she works in diplomacy and she has nothing to do about those in jail.

This is a bizarre response recalling what she did in regard to her involvement in her sister’s case. 

Ruth Simon was a free correspondent for the news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) at the time of her detention on April 25, 1997. She is the first detained journalist in Eritrea after independence. There is no official information about her date of release and where she is about now.

For more information about Ruth Simon, click here

 

 

Dr. Robiel Habtemariam: Pseudo-Professional in Defense of PFDJ Policies and Crimes Against Eritrean People

This is an extract from a Facebook discussion between Dr. Robiel Habtemariam (MD) and me[the Author] based on an article I wrote about Cancer in Eritrea. We could not come to terms of agreement on the way I handled the topic. After an intensive exchange, he promised to come back with rebuttal response to flatter my take. I welcomed him.

startingInitially, he started his comment under my post by writing:

Post 0

“Tesfe, you are obsessed with cancer. To make matters worse, you speak of it as if it is a deliberately disseminated contagious disease. Clearly, you don’t have the slightest idea of what you are talking about.”

And I responded to this particular post by saying,

Indeed I am obsessed. And the reason is you guys (doctors) are trying to make it normal.

And as a human rights defender and political activist, I am telling you to do something. I don’t want you to live in your comfort hospital zone.

On Tsigereda – like all other PFDJ officials, I don’t have any admiration. Saying that, as human, I feel sorry for her death.

Robel, by now as you can see we are in a different political zone. Be cool, therefore. Otherwise, I have many tools to make you ashamed of yourself for supporting PFDJ policies.

Since after, we engaged seriously on this subject matter.Well, I was curious on his take. I considered it as a big opportunity to see my article being challenged by a professional doctor. What you write must get the attention of readers. Critical responses from experts matters for growth.

As expected, after 4 days, he came with a series of comments posted on Facebook. I found his take irresponsible and non-professional. Initially, I thought to ignore what he wrote. Instead of focusing on the content, he dropped lines that were loaded with bashing words that express his highness on the subject matter. He literally told me I shouldn’t have written the article without consulting experts.

It is self-embarrassing to Dr. Robiel to come with this unprofessional and irresponsible comments that harm his career. If there is anything to learn from his comments is what he stands for.

I found Dr. Robiel H. to be a typical PFDJ cadre. I had the same impression before but I thought it is better to give him a benefit of doubt. It didn’t help either.

A brief introduction about Dr. Robiel Habtemariam

RbelAccording to information available from his Facebook page, Dr. Robiel is a graduate of Orrotta School of Medicine and Dentistry. He did his high school study in Asmara Hafeshawi. After graduation, he was assigned to Assab, the second port city of Eritrea, as a medical doctor in 2014.

What makes him among those who leverage PFDJ crimes is that he did not hide his pride to express PFDJ’s political correctness. Though it seems that he is living outside Eritrea, his mindset is fully lodged with PFDJ ideology. He is among the very few medical doctors who are defending PFDJ crimes in social media.

Robel and his class mates

Dr. Robiel Habtemariam with his classmates in 2009 (Source: Facebook)

I have no detailed information who he is routside his facebook page and as an active member of Eritreans Scholars Group. He is among those few contributors who do not hide support to PFDJ regime. Reading his inputs, it is quite possible to know what he promotes for.

Why his comments are so important?

Through Dr. Robiel H. comments, we can learn how die-hard PFDJ professionals think about the current situation of Eritrean suffering. It can help us to understand their thinking. It is indeed a valuable material to be studied to challenge servants of PFDJ. Above all, Dr. Robiel is a medical doctor who is supposed to contribute positively to the status of the health sector in Eritrea.

Access to health services is a basic human right issue. Though there is undeniable positive progress in this area, so far, Eritrea lacks some important care services to its citizens. For example, cancer care center is absent. As a result, cancer patients face a challenging moment to look after their health. It is hard to know what mechanism exists to treat cancer. As it was explained in my previous article published on August 04, 2017.

As far as a patient can afford,  the only option available is to go abroad for treatment. What makes it extremely painful is that it is not easy to get permission to leave the country. Dr. Robiel confirmed the extreme bureaucracy and vetting process to go abroad.

This material is therefore important to understand how human rights issue is seeing in Eritrea by politically charged professionals.

Dr. Robiel Habtemariam’s Rebuttal comments to my Article

Post 1

[…] I’m serious about this.

Tesfabirhan Redie, I have already read your article and have been following your posts on cancer in Eritrea(this is the third one I believe). As I said, if you are mature enough to defend your article and your posts, and accept criticism, I can take you seriously and show you why I think you are missing the whole point and how your article and posts are fallacious.

In your first post, I told you that you were just politicizing the issue. Your response (and that of wed Wed Hmrarib) was vehement, full of ad hominem, and suggested that I was defending the ruling party. After a little bit of derailed nonsense, I decided to disengage myself from the topic, because it was fruitless, to say the least. Now, let me make one thing clear: As far as Eritrean politics is concerned, I don’t have a single political party that Impresses me and I don’t have a single figure in mind that I would vote for if elections were to be held. I support ideas, and not people or parties. I argue in favor of what I think is right, and not someone who I think is right. Because, naturally, nobody gets’s everything right. Accordingly, if I think there was something Hitler got right and see you – out of hatred – make a sweeping argument that “since Hitler is evil and hence everything he does is wicked, that particular thing he did was wrongful and ugly,” I will simply tell you that you are wrong. If you tell me that I’m defending Hitler and therefore I’m a Nazist, again I would tell you that you have a fallacious conclusion. That’s really your problem and all I can do is point it out to you and say goodbye. Any further discussion would be pointless. I hope you got my point.

Response  

Robel, now you seem to be serious.

Ok to start with.

1. Understand the objective of my article.

My objective is to increase public awareness on the increasing number of cancer victims in Eritrea. It is all for political awareness. I am not politicizing the issue but calling for people, including the Ministry of Health and the international community to act. At least, for the time, being, Eritreans need a place of treatment. Sudan is too expensive and impractical.

It is sad to ignore this and see you jumping on what I listed as the possible cause.

To be frank, I was totally disappointed by you when you try to argue on the political dimension. This is the reason I wanted to react. Otherwise, I want your genuine professional input.

2. I am not blaming PFDJ as someone who caused cancer. What I am saying is PFDJ is simply watching. Check the title, please.

Academically, I am not an expert in cancer. And I think you are not. However, you are much better equipped to say something about cancer. I am sure you know many secrets about health in Eritrea. Say something if you are in safe place without violating your professional oath.

I am not campaigning to be elected. I am just talking about challenges Eritreans are facing.

Remark: I am very serious on this issue and be serious.

I have good friends who graduate from Orrotta. They deserve respect. By respecting you, I am respecting them. Please be away from the PFDJ thing here as you are expected to be professional in this special topic. If you act politically, I will be too.

Post 2

Am I the only one here who thinks the main purpose of the post was not the fact that Mrs. Tsgereda died, but the fact that she died from cancer? Anyways, I’m back with my criticism of your article, Tasfabrhan, as promised. I’m putting my comments separately so that you can reply to them separately. I will try to point out the pitfalls of your article from a medical and a statistical point of view. Besides, I will briefly highlight why I think it is biased and intentionally distorted and manipulated to serve a political motive, instead of attempting to analyze the issue with intellectual honesty so that the article can provide a platform for a constructive discussion and give an insight as to how further research can be taken from there.

Please don’t try to defend your article, as you’ve already hinted, by claiming that cancer is not your area of expertize. In that case, you should have left the issue to experts, or consulted experts in writing it after contracting adequate literature review, research and coverage of background information on cancer before rushing into writing your article just to enrich your website. Real writers go through a painstakingly lengthy study of their subject of concern before starting to scribble, even for fiction meant to entertain.

My impression is that you went through the following sequence of events to end up writing the article: you were inspired by the desperate plights of Eritrean cancer victims shared on Facebook from inside and outside the country (usually Sudan), and being a political activist, you went out of your way to find real health data, mingled it with graphic pictures of individual cases, and manipulated it in a way that portrayed the problem as alarmingly the heaviest health burden in the country which has never been addressed in any way whatsoever. I’m absolutely dazzled that you recklessly asserted that nothing is done to prevent and treat cancer in Eritrea. The truth is that any health professional in Eritrea can write you an entire book on just what is actually done to prevent and treat cancer in Eritrea. You should have known better, or if you had known, you shouldn’t have swept facts under the carpet, if you are to be in a position where you can claim that you are intellectually honest and not driven by a political motive.

Post 3

Good. I actually agree with the idea that Sudan is not the best place for Eritrean cancer patients and that something should be done about it. The other strong point you made was the fact that you pointed out the bureaucratic delay patients face in the ministry of health in the process of letting them leave the country legally.

I know that there is a group of people in Khartoum who are devoted to helping Eritrean cancer patients professionally, logistically, and economically to those who end up there. I liked the part where you mentioned that group and their Facebook page in order to make people aware of their activities so that any interested party can lend a hand. I wish the entire article was about that.

I will comment on the weaknesses and fallacies of your article. I expect you to defend it with reason and evidence. I will see you sooner or later.

Response 4

Robel, remember this is not an academic paper. It is a political article. Therefore, don’t expect me to be academically correct.

Within this scope, I am more than capable to defend every line I wrote.

I am well equipped with that.

On this positive compliments, thank you.

What I can be OK with it if you don’t try to come from the so called Government of Eritrea point of view. I am a die hard opponent of all Eritrean policies – 100%. Be aware therefore when you build your argument.

One last point – don’t expect me to, write what it will make you happy. Take those strong sides, argue with those that you feel need proper attention and dump for dump lines. Be systematic.

Post 5

Let me start with your choice of words

“Cancer is killing everyone in Eritrea.”

Whaaaaaat!!? That was the overstatement of the year(perhaps globally). እሞ ኣብ ኤርትራ ደኣ ዝተረፈ ሰብ የለን ዘይትብለኒ:: እንታይ ደኣ እዘን ማዔከናት ዜና ከምዚ ኣብ ግዜ ለበዳ ኢቦላ ወይ ሸሮኽ ዝገብረኦ ዋጭዋጭ ዘይበላ? ኣብ ኤርትራ ዝተረፈ ሰብ ይህሉ’ዶ ይኸዉን ኢልካ ተሌፎን ደዊልካ ከተረጋግጽ ቅሩብ ይተርፈካ::

Tasfabrhan, did you even consider the kind of audience you were trying to reach out to? It looks like you either failed to consider your audience, or underestimated them, or even deliberately ignored those who can clearly read between your lines to mislead and alarm the naive who don’t have an idea of what’s really going on so that you can align them on your political assembly.

Anyways, what is the point that you are trying to make by telling us that Mrs. Tsgereda died from blood cancer?

Who is to blame?

Do you know what type of blood cancer (leukemia) it was?

Was she treated for it?

Do you have any idea what her chance of survival was with and without treatment?

Post 6

The other thing is your manipulation of statistics. You gave us a number ( 9,482 laboratories confirmed cases in a decade) which means nothing if broken down into individual types of cancers, indicating their respective percentages and rates and compared to other causes of morbidity and mortality in the country as well as to similar cancers elsewhere around the world. Without such a comparison, a plain number means nothing, even to an expert.

While you devoted paragraphs in unnecessary and irrelevant details, you did not attempt to put the cancer burden into context by highlighting its relative significance in the list of the top causes of morbidity and mortality and the immense health burden they pose to the country’s struggling economy. Accordingly, you failed to mention if it is appropriately prioritized as per its rank as a health burden in light of the budget allocated to and within the health sector. Instead, surprisingly enough, you made a flimsy attempt to discredit the achievement of 6 out of 8-millennium development goals within the assigned timeframe, something many third world countries fell short of achieving.

Post 7

Here is a simple example of how prioritization works and how you conveniently avoided it: You are a father of a poor family with 8 children. You work hard to make ends meet and earn way less than what your family needs to lead a “normal” life.Your wife returns from the hospital and tells you that she has breast cancer and that the doctor told her she needs the amount of money you can hardly make in a lifetime.

Your eldest son is in the hospital ward getting treated for AIDS and its complications. Another one is in the same ward getting treated for TB. A third has malaria. Your oldest daughter is unmarried, pregnant and has anemia. Two of your young kids have malnutrition with all sorts of complications that go with it. Your youngest daughter has severe pneumonia and is dying in the emergency room. That kid older than her has had persistent diarrhea for more than a week. You went to the hospital to follow-up your chronic heart disease three days ago, only this time your doctor tells you that you may have a prostate cancer. Now imagine your sleepless nights trying to figure out a way to divide your savings between feeding the family and paying the medical bills. Which child or disease would you prioritize? Obviously, the most down-to-earth thing to do about it is to pay for kids who have cheaper, life-threatening but easily treatable conditions first, wouldn’t you? You can take care of your wife’s breast cancer and your prostate cancer – which is costly, and usually fatal anyway – only when you have the simpler issues addressed, and provided that you have managed to collect enough money one way or the other.

Now imagine one of your sons which you have asked to get a job and put all his income on the table except for the little bit of pocket money you allowed him. He not only had a nasty fight with you and absconded from home, but also was going around the neighborhood proclaiming how his mother (your wife) is dying of cancer, asking for financial assistance on Facebook, while his father (you) is not doing anything because he doesn’t care!

I think that is exactly what you did, Tasfabrhan. You want to raise peoples awareness? You are particularly interested in cancer? Here is what you could have done:

Have an in-depth look at the epidemiology of cancer in Eritrea. Study the prevalence, incidence, and demographics (distribution by age, sex, ethnic group, geographical area… etc) of the commonest cancers in the country. Calculate their rates per unit population and time and compare them with the data of the same cancers in other countries. Point out which specific cancer types are significantly more prevalent in Eritrea than their counterparts in other countries. Try to identify a correlation between a certain unusually prevalent cancer and a specific fraction of people who seem to be affected by it. At that point, you would be in a position where you are supposed to be able to isolate some known (or unknown) risk factors which presumably contribute to the specific type of cancer you identified. That is evidence-based practice. Only then will you be able to conclude, assert, recommend and blame.

Post 8

WHAT LEAD TO THE “GROWING” RATE?

You have discussed some factors which you thought could have contributed to the apparently increasing trend of incidence of cancers in the country. For the most part, I disagree with your evidently superficial and unfounded analysis of the possible “causes” of cancer in Eritrea for several reasons. I will give you my opinion on the individual factors in subsequent comments. For now, let me give you a general overview as to why your suggestion was unconvincing.

  1. You talk of the factors as causes. The issue is not as straightforward as that (I wish it was). Turns out that cancers don’t have clear cut causes per se but risk factors which may or may not lead to them in the long run. There is no cause and effect relationship. You can not pin point to one factor and say that it is an inevitably definite cause of cancer.
  2. I don’t believe that there was a significant change in the factors mentioned between the years 2000 and 2010 parallel to the rate of growth of cancer. These variables have more or less remained the same before, during and after the decade considered.
  3. There is no empirical evidence whatsoever that suggests the factors you mentioned were behind the “growing” rate of incidence of cancer in Eritrea. In the article, these factors were not only put as tangible facts but also were used accusingly. Eg. There was a point silly enough to suggest that people from the highlands who go to Sawa were at an increased risk of skin cancer.

Post 9

As far as I am concerned, you have failed to point out three important reasons which may explain the growing trend of cancer.

  1. Enhanced health seeking behavior of the people. 3, 4, or 5 decades ago, the incidence rate of all types of cancers as obtained from reports from health institutions was next to zero. Why? Because people tended to not only believe in traditional healers but also used to be skeptical on modern medical practice as it was presumed to in fact worsen cancers. With increased awareness, people gradually started to come out to hospitals, instead of dying helplessly at home or at the hands of traditional healers.
  2. Enhanced detection rate due to improved diagnostic capability. A lot changes in 10 years. Before the year 2000, the distribution of health facilities and availability of health professionals and diagnostic tools was considerably limited. Back in the days, there was a lack of diagnostic imaging techniques including CT scan, MRI, and ultrasound as well as pathologic investigation of tissue biopsies. In such a scenario, you would, of course, have cancer in the society but you keep missing them because you are not equipped enough to see them.
  3. Population growth. While not necessarily affecting the incidence RATE, population growth gives you an increasing NUMBER of cases every year.

Post 10

CANCER AND GENETICS: The other central issue which was deprived of attention in the article perhaps to avoid weakening its accusing tone.

Heredity plays a decisive role in the development of cancer. Simply put, in general, cancers develop in the context of specific genetic aberration continually provoked by various environmental factors over a long period of time (years to decades).
Countless studies show that different ethnic groups or races genetically have different rates of predisposition to different cancers. Although evidence is lacking currently, it is not impossible that Eritreans (or specific ethnic groups) may be genetically more prone to the types of cancers commonly seen in the country.

Post 11

In this screenshot from your article, you’ve tried to emphasize on what appears to be abnormal. That’s just a superficial layman’s perspective.

robel_data_trends_2It is actually completely normal. Cancer can affect both sexes and all age groups. It all depends on the cancer type. Some cancers are exclusively seen in older males. Eg. Prostate cancer. In fact, 1 in 15 males in their 60s have it and the rate increases with age. Other cancers like lung cancer and colorectal cancer are more common in males. You also need to know that some cancers like nephroblastoma( kidney cancer), brain cancers, lymphoma, leukemia, Ewings sarcoma… etc are predominantly seen in children.

**, By the way, there is a little bit of error you need to correct: You have mentioned prostate cancer as both the first and second common cancer type in males.
M

Response

As a medical doctor, all diseases are not abnormal to you.

For ordinary people like me, who witnessed only one person as a victim of cancer in their entire life, is abnormal to read such alarming statistical data.

I know you were working in a hospital. Every day, you were watching death, suffering, and pain of hundreds of people. Hence, 1 in 15 is normal for you. For me, I want it gives me a heart break.

Post 12

SPECIFIC REASONS YOU DISCUSSED AS MAIN CAUSES OF CANCER IN ERITREA

Cancer and Nutrition:

response10When one talks about nutrition as a predisposing factor to cancer, it doesn’t imply that you enjoy a life time of protection from what you consume during your honeymoon or a few days after child birth; rather, it is about the cumulative long-term predisposing effect of consumption of foods containing carcinogenic ingredients (especially processed foods) on one hand, and the protective effect of certain ingredients when taken consistently for a lifetime on the other.

Malnutrition is a huge problem in Eritrea, especially in children. Impaired immunity due to malnutrition leads to all kinds of complications many of which are fatal. Associating malnutrition to cancer is a little far fetched.

Response

I didn’t rule out malnutrition is a cause. What I am saying is, it is a possible cause for some types of cancer.

Post 13

Cancer and stress:

post11Stress can be a precursor to all kinds of diseases. It prevails everywhere and is actually more common in the developed world. I don’t believe it is unusually higher in Eritrea. (research needed). If it is very common, what should be concerning is people suffering from chronic anxiety, major depression, gastritis,.. etc and dying from heart attack, stroke, hypertensive crisis, diabetes… etc.

The association of deprivation with a higher rate of cancer has nothing to do with stress because deprivation and stress are simply two different variables.

 

 

Post 14

Cancer and contraceptives:

Yes, there is an almost negligible risk of developing cancer that doesn’t warrant the drug’s withdrawal from the market. That little risk is in women having additional risk factors and who take it for a relatively long time.In fact, contraceptives, apart from birth control, are useful in the treatment of different gynecological problems.
Anyway, you have shown that its use is too low in the country, which means it is not a problem as far as cancer is concerned.

Post 15

Consumption of poorly stored grains:

Aflatoxin and liver cancer:

Liver cancer is one of the rare cancers in Eritrea. And when you have a patient with liver cancer, it is commonly due to chronic hepatitis B and C infections, fatty liver, alcoholism, etc. Aflatoxin has been implicated as a possible cause but it is at the bottom of the list. It is a rare cause of a rare cancer type. It is more concerning as a cause of kwashiorkor.

Post 16

Exposure to UV radiation and cancer:

The only practical way to protect all Eritreans from UV is to build a roof all over the country.

“a Highlander is therefore not able to resist lowland of Eritrea.”

Well, that is purely a psychological issue. There isn’t a significant variation in the skin tones (melanin pigment) of all Eritreans wherever they come from. There are both fair and dark skinned people in both the highlands and in the lowlands.

Your last paragraph associating military conscription to skin cancer is too lame. In general, people spend their entire lives outdoors making a living. Besides, high temperature (35*c) and UV radiation are two different things. You can live in a hot area and not be exposed to UV.

Post 17

Asbestos exposure and cancer:

Forget it, it is not a problem in Eritrea. Asbestos can lead to lung cancer in industrial workers exposed to it through inhalation on a regular basis.

Post 18

Benzene and cancer:

Forget this one too. በቲ ሓደ ነዳዲ የለን ትብል, በቲ ሓደ ከኣ ካንሰር ኣብ ኤርትራ ብሰንኪ ነዳዲ ይበዝሕ ኣሎ ትብል:: you are contradicting yourself. Science ተዛረብ:: Obviously, your principal aim here was to emphasize on the scarcity of fuel in the country.

Post 19

Alcohol and cancer:

Switching between different brands of alcohol has nothing to do with an increased risk of exposure to cancer. It is about the dose. It has to be taken in high doses continually (most days of the week) for years to contribute as a risk factor for cancer. I think few people have that habit in addition to being able to afford it in Eritrea.

Post 20

Smoke and Cancer:

መጎጎ ኣድሓነት was meant to drastically reduce the use of firewood and animal dung as fuels ad well as reduce the effect of smoke on mothers. As far as I know, it is compulsory in rural areas for every woman to have one. Of course, there are women still exposed to household smoke in different ways.

Post 21

STDs and cancer:

The apparent correlation of high STD and cancer rates in 2005 in Eritrea is just a matter of coincidence. There isn’t any logical medical explanation to that.
As you have previously mentioned, the commonest cancers in Eritrea are breast, prostate, ovarian, uterine, cervical, connective tissue cancers and leukemia. What you didn’t notice is that not only the cancers associated with HIV/AIDS are different (Kaposi’s sarcoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, cervical cancer), but also appears several years after one contracted HIV (typically 10 to 20 years) when AIDS advances to its end stage.

“what happened in 2005?”

Here I was expecting a scientific attempt to explain as to how AIDS and cancer peaked in the same year, creating an impression of correlation. What I read was quite absurd.

Post 22

Finally, about “the government is doing nothing” part, I will tell you that, despite the obvious shortages in man power and resources, the ministry of health is probably the most well organized and functional ministry in the country. As I said, one can write a book just on what is done to prevent and treat cancer. You should have known better, or if you had known, you shouldn’t have swept facts under the carpet, if you are to be in a position where you can claim that you are intellectually honest and not driven by a political motive.

Why I did not respond to most of his posts?

To be honest, I was fed-up with his shallow response. I prefered to respond by saying, “FUNNY” in most of his take. It did no give me sense at all to respong accordingly. His take didn’t deserve my response.

Conclusion

Although I appreciate him for his time to read my article seriously and respond for major points, it is unwise for him to write from the perspective of PFDJ political book. All that he was trying to do was finally exposed by his own conclusion.

Dr. Robiel Habtemariam is a corrupted medical expert who is working against humanity. I hope he will remember his oath one day and turn his respected profession to fulfill the duty of human dignity.

 

PFDJ Insecurity: From YPFDJ Conference to The National Council of Eritrean Americans Congress

Changing title is a sign of Losing

On August 12, 2017, shabait.com reported about a congress held by the National Council of Eritrean Americans in Seattle USA from 08 to 11 August 2017. According to the news report, representatives of national associations from across the USA participated.

This is unusual title. First of all, participants were members of Y[Youth]PFDJ. YPFDJ is a youth organization that is affiliated to the only existing political party in Eritrea. Second, the name given to the gathering is different from similar gathering held by the same group for the last 12 years.

Before, the same gathering was used to be held under a title, “YPFDJ North America Conference”. What is the reason then to change the name of the gathering and participants? Why PFDJ is using a different tactic then after 12 years consecutive meetings?

pfdj_insecureWell, PFDJ gathering is the same but not normal as before. As opposition to PFDJ in the west is getting stronger and stronger, it is becoming hard for PFDJ to conduct political meetings freely as before. For example, in April 13th YPFDJ Europe – Holland Conference was canceled after Mayor of Veldhoven warned that security of conference participants could not be guaranteed. This warrant came after a group of justice seekers conveyed a message of warning to the government of Holland accompanied by strong condemnation to the anyone who participated in the conference.

PFDJ tried to defend the rights of the conference by claiming the conference is not political but cultural exchange. The fact in the ground cannot prove PFDJ’s claim. After the cancelation, PFDJ wrote a long statement that condemn Dutch Government decision.

PFDJ did not want to be ashamed again. What it has to do is to invent a new tactic to camouflage its YPFDJ conference across the world. What happened in North America is therefore a simple cover of its political meetings. PFDJ understood that calling such meetings as “YPFDJ Conference” is not going to help. Instead, it fabricated a name for a non-existent national associations to name its routing conference as National Council of Eritrean American Congress. It is a failed political game.

Since its establishment, YPFDJ North America conducted its conference annually. This year, it could not get a courage to use its usual title. The reason for doing so is its Europe sister organization bitter experience. It is politically correct to call it congress of Eritrean council associations. Otherwise, it is difficult to argue for any accusation that could arise from any opposing force.

Changing of Momentum

2017 is a year of success for the opposition camp. YPFDJ conference in Holland was canceled. Yemane Gebreab  – founder of YPFDJ is forced to spent this time in a hospital after he faced an attack from justice seekers. And almost all PFDJ organized annual festivals faced strong condemnation from justice seekers.

These achievements show the growing momentum of the opposition camp against PFDJ. These days, it is hard for PFDJ to conduct its normal business. Opposition is becoming intensive, persistent and is performed with high efficiency. Without doubt, the opposition camp has attained its threshold of resistance.

More detailed analysis about the conference will be presented soon.

 

Communist Party of China(CPC) is Guilty of​ its​ Symbiotic Relationship​ with PFDJ of Eritrea

News published at www.shabait.com on 19/07/2017 has put me in a puzzle to ask a diplomatic relationship between China and Eritrea. The news report has strange photo footage of showing seven(7) officials of Chinese Communist Party attending a meeting with only two PFDJ officials – Isaias Afewerki and Hagos Ghebrehiwet. Though it is not unusual to see such kind of meetings with foreign diplomats, this report forced me to make CPC accountable for its collaboration with PFDJ officials which are accused of crimes against humanity.

According to the report published at shabait, the meeting was aimed at strengthening the existing relationship between CPC and PFDJ. Indeed PFDJ desperately needs to maintain with its parental party. If CPC has any striving ideological heritage in Africa, it is only in Eritrea. cpc_pfdj

PFDJ Officials and CPC Delegates meetings, Asmara 19/07/2017

The history of Chinese Communist Party and Isaias Afewerki dates back to 1997.  This makes it 1967 to be an important year for China and Eritrea. It is the year where the current leader of Eritrea and Chairman of PFDJ, Isaias Afewerki, went to China to be trained as a political cadre. At the same year, China was in its Cultural Revolution era(1966 – 1976) led under the leadership of Mao Zedong. Isaias got political training by Communist Party of China(CPC) trainers within the principle of Marx-Lenin-Maoism Ideology. It was not only the teachings he got from but also what he witnessed during his six months stay in China has a tremendous impact in Isaias’s thinking and daily practices. The teachings he received combined with his psychopathic behavior, Isaias has turned into a monster and barbaric leader. Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki in China - 1967

Isaias Afewerki, other Eritreans and Chinese Cadre trainers, 1967, China

isaiaschinabig

Isaias Afewerki and Chinese President, China, 2005

If the years of Cultural Revolution of China are remembered as the worst days in Chinese modern history, so is the era of Isaias (1967 – present). China under communist Mao (1949 – 1976) has witnessed massive genocide and crimes against humanity. So is now in Eritrea by his student Isaias Afewerki.

UN Human Rights Council has accused Eritrea of its crimes against humanity. According to Commission of Inquiry – Eritrea investigation report, since 1991, Eritreans are exposed to systematic crimes against humanity. During 2015, 2016 and 2017, hearings at UN hearings, if there is any country that did not fully approve COI – Report, it is China. Instead, China made an excuse over Eritrea’s crimes as if it was incapability of management skills.

If Cultural revolution era was miserable for China, I hope they are not making excuses those crimes committed against Chinese as if it was a lack of skilled managers during the Mao leadership. Otherwise, the source of all those misers was the political ideology followed by Communist Party. And what PFDJ is committing at this time is in line with the ideology thought by Chinese officers.

It is a historical mistake to observe CPC continuing its parental role and strengthen PFDJ. Though I am not naive to expect respect of human rights from CPC, at least it is a universal obligation for a government or political parties to distance themselves from anyone accused of crimes against humanity.

Today, China is the 2nd most powerful country. It was expected to protect human rights by pressuring leaders who abuse their power to commit crimes. There is no logic to observe this powerful country to be blind and deaf when innocent people are crying for help. China has an international obligation. This obligation is not only limited to economic prosperity but also peace and freedom. When people lack freedom, everything is else is nothing but a nightmare.

PFDJ may pretend for its diplomatic relationship with China as it is historical. The fact is, PFDJ never acknowledged history. Its relationship is purely symbiotic. It is to open a gateway for greedy Chinese economy so that it can stay in power. Ideologically and in practice, China is more close to PFDJ. China does not respect basic human rights so is CPC. China is looking aggressively sources of raw materials. Eritrea is relatively ideal place as it has unexploited mineral resources and strategic maritime line.  China can not afford pressuring countries like Eritrea simply to lose its interest. If there are governments which need protection at the cost of everything they possess, China will be ideal country. The symbiotic relationship between PFDJ and CPC is therefore based on “I will protect you but allow me to exploit you” symbiotic relationship. The existing historical background is used to broker between the countries. And their self-interest is the leverage for their evil relationship.

Communist Party of China is guilty at two levels: (1) – as an ideological parent to PFDJ regime and (2) as a party that has ignored what PFDJ is accused of by UN Human Rights body for its crimes against humanity and continue its business. Eritreans will not forget what Chinese are doing with PFDJ. If there is any powerful country that is purposefully keeping silent over Eritrean situation it is China. History is recording.

On this occasion, if China has any humanity, I call it to use its power to pressure PFDJ end its crimes. If this is not possible, China should refrain from exploiting Eritrean natural resources and halt its business practices with PFDJ. At the same time, I call international community pressure China to stop its actvitiy with Eritrea.

 

 

Rome is no more safe for PFDJ Officials

These days there is news coming from the heart of Rome, Italy, that is sending a clear signal for PFDJ officials. According to news resources, an Eritrean Ambassador in Italy and unidentified officials were confronted by outraged individuals in the street of Rome. This violent confrontation happened on July 05, 2017 around 10:00 PM. In this incident, the unidentified official is reported to have a serious injury and the Ambassador with a lighter one. It is reported that the identified official will stay longer in the hospital.

According to various credible sources and testimonies, the identified official is now revealed to be Yemane Gebreab. According to Italians news outlets,  Italian police has arrested one suspect and is searching other collaborators.

 

Source: First Picture (left) and second picture (right)

According to various sources, Eritrean presidential advisor Yamani Gabreab “was severely beaten in Italy and taken to hospital with another man who was injured”. For example, Radio Assenna has reported on its July 07, 2017 news broadcast, an Eritrean named Simon, confirmed the incident and who was the victim. According to the testimony, a friend of his(Simon) is under police arrest. The police have not yet confirmed who attacked these PFDJ officials. However, Simon told Radio Assenna they are trying to appoint a lawyer to defend the person who is under arrest. 

Switzerland Eritrea Human Rights
Presidential adviser Yemane Gebreab of Eritrea presents his response to the conclusions by the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea, during a press conference, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 8, 2016. Gebreab accused the panel of being “entirely one-sided.” (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)

An official Facebook account under the name of “Hagerawi Dihnet – ሃገራዊ ድሕነት” has confirmed the incidence though they didn’t mention the name of Yemane gebreab.

Hagerwai dihnet

ብናይ ብኣቦታቶም ብናፓልምን ቀመማዊ ጋዛትን ሚልዮን ሰራዊትን ብኒን ናይ ነፈርትን ዘይተዳህለት ነብሲ ብኸመይ እያ ሕጂ ማርቴሎ ብዝሓዙ ደቆም ክትደሃል፡ ክንቀትለካ ኢና ኢሎም መጺዮም ጌና ኢዱ ላሕጺጾም ክሃድሙ ይገርም እዩ ከመይሲ ክትቀትሎ ዝደለኻ ብድሕሪኢ መጺኻ ኣይኮንካን ተጥቅዖ፡ ንስኹም ተቀወምትና ስለ ዝኾንኩም ኢና ከኣ ደቂስና ንሓድር ዘለና፡ መዓንጣ ኣልቦ ምውታት ፍጥረት!እቲ ሓደ ምስ ተታሕዘ ነባዕባዕ ምባሉ ሓደ መርኣያ እንታይ ዓይነት ሰባት ምዃኖም እዩ፡ ሰብኣይ በርገር እንዳበላዕካ ኣብ ጸልማት ጸኒሕካ ሽማግለ ምጥቃዕ ዘይኮነ ኣብ ማእከል ወሪድካ ምቅላስ እዩ፡ ሻዕብያ ንሓንቲ መዓልቲ ይኹን ንኣምባሳደራት ደርጊ ኣጥቂዖም ኣይፈልጡን እዮም ነቲ ዝደሊይዎ ሰብ ኣብ ማእከል ከብዲ ጸላኢ ኣዲስኣበባ ከይተረፈ ኣትዮም እዮም ዝቅንጽልዎ፡ እሱ እዪ ናይሰብኣይ ስራሕ ንጸላኢ ኣጥቂዕካ ፈንጺግካ ምውጻእ።
If bombs and napalm didn’t intimidate them at the mountains of Sahl and Nakfa, they can not be intimidated by the street thugs of Deki Tor Serawit. 
Our solidarity with our hero ambassador.

What is the message of this Incident?

So far, justice seekers Eritreans are shy to react violently though some occasional signals were happening here and there. Until this incident, no serious confrontation was reported against PFDJ officials. For example, there were about four in the past. As outlined below, none of these were violent but peaceful.

2011 Incident: Yemane Gebreab in the USA, New York City

Some outraged Eritreans about the PFDJ regime confronted Yemane Gebreab in New York City after they found him in a public bar. As it is shown in the short youtube video, those courageous individuals chased and threatened him openly. They were openly telling people Yemane is an official from the dictatorial regime. These patriots were calling him as a killer, traitor of his comrades and a lair. In addition, they raised the issue of those imprisoned PFDJ officials and where about they are. Yemane Gebreab didn’t respond. Instead, he was frustrated by the incident and left the area in anxiety.

Those outraged Eritreans didn’t  take any violent action though they gave him the warning to stop his crimes over Eritreans.

2013 Incident: Eritrean Embassy Occupation after Forto Operation

  1.  Eritrean Embassy in Rome, Italy

This incident was a direct reaction in response to the failed Operation of Forto 2013. Outraged Eritreans entered the Embassy office and conveyed their direct message about the living condition of Eritrea. They asked about the Ambassador where he is about.

They were not violent but had a strong message to the embassy. They claimed that the embassy belongs to the people. Their message was to remind the embassy to convey their message to the dictatorial regime about the suffering of Eritrean people. The Ambassador didn’t show-up.

After a serious and heated exchange, they respectfully reminded staff members why they came in and what they wanted to convey. They posted a poster that read, “ENOUGH”.

2. Eritrean Embassy in London, UK 

Eritrean Embassy in London was occupied by the Eritrean Youth for Change (EYSC) members and other individuals for a brief period of time. Their message was similar as that of Rome incident. They were not violent but were outrageous by the regime in Asmara. They were claiming that the embassy belongs to them.

2016 Incident: Voicing in front of Eritrean Embassy in London, UK

This incident was an immediate reaction to the incident of shootings of innocent Eritreans in the heart of Asmara after they tried to jump from tracks loaded with forced military conscripts. This tragedy happened when members of the national service, aka national slavery, tried to escape after the tracks slowed down their speed.

Awate website recalled this tragedy as “Black Sunday”. Martin Plaut, a journalist who writes about Eritrea, reported about the name list of those who were shot on 03/04/2016.  After this incident, few but courageous women visited the office of Eritrean Embassy in London to remind what happened in Asmara. An officer from the Embassy denied the incident.

embassy_london

Embassy Staff members who tried to intimidate those Eritreans who visited to give an awareness about the incident. They openly denied the news and threatened those who were asking to leave otherwise they could be arrested by the police. 

Conclusion

What happened in July 2017 is not a normal scenario. Eritreans are sending clear signals how serious consequences will be if the regime continues its crimes against Eritrean people. Today, Rome has become a nightmare to PFDJ officials. Tomorrow, all countries in the world will be unsafe to PFDJ tags.

After such gradual but fearless, outrageous appraisings and reactions, the signal is clearly to target officials in Eritrea. Every official will not be safe from now onwards unless they hear people’s plea for justice. It is time for PFDJ officials to give power to the people before a more serious action follows. Not only PFDJ officials but also their family will not have any safety.

I don’t support violence as violence brings another violence. But there is a limit for everything. Some are only resolved through violent means. Today, Rome is no more safe to PFDJ criminal officers. Tomorrow will be all other places.