Archive for March, 2014



“World’s largest prison”, Eritrea.


 “You see these dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their soldiers and the truncheons of their police … yet in their hearts there is unspoken fear. They are afraid of words and thoughts: words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home — all the more powerful because forbidden — terrify them. A little mouse of thought appears in the room, and even the mightiest potentates are thrown into panic.” 1

I am reading an article by Bec Zajac, “Refugee radio voices for a new Eritrea”. Mr. Zajac is speaking with three refugees, Osman, Ahmed and Berhan, producers of “Eritrean Voices” whom he says “are using their microphones and voices to agitate for change in a country that has been labeled the “world’s largest political prison”, Eritrea.

The three Eritrean Diaspora producers tell Mr. Zajak about journalists and high government officials imprisoned, but presumed dead, “half a million Eritrean refugees in Sudan and 350,000 in Ethiopia,etc. Then they move on to discuss “the culture of silence among Eritreans in Diaspora”. Berhan says, “the culture existed, because of fear. People were so brainwashed, they thought that even if they were in Australia, even if they travel to the moon, president Afewerki could bring them back and imprison them”.

“Psychology of oppression is both a phenomenon and an explanatory construct — just as psychology is a phenomenon and also the study of that phenomenon (e.g., behavioristic psychology, cognitive psychology). The phenomenon called “psychology of oppression” is the psychological effects of social oppression, and the psychological requirements that sustain (are functional for) social oppression. In other words, social oppression includes a psychological complement in the victim that contributes to his subjugation.”2

Eritrea is worse than Oceania, in 1984 George Orwell’s novel. People who think differently from the party’s policy receive violent punishment inflicted by the “Thought Police.” The Eritrean government has created the worst state of fear on its citizens. When the former Eritrean foreign minister Ali Abdu, defected to Australia in November 2012, the hoodlum government of Issayas Afewerki arrested and put in jail Ciham, Ali Abdo’s fifteen year old daughter. Just to be sure that the message is sent clearly to all, the Eritrean thugs also put Ali Abdo’s father as well as his brother in jail.

The government in Eritrea is wicked, evil to its bones. Danger to its neighbors. Friends with terrorists and evil doers. According to Michela Wrong,” There have been nearly 13 years of lockdown in Eritrea, a period in which the country routinely dubbed “Africa’s North Korea” for its militarism and defiant isolationism has virtually disappeared from global headlines. Isaias’s support for fundamentalist groups like Somalia’s al-Shabaab — one of the reasons for eroding relations with Washington — has led the United Nations to impose sanctions on the country. Nowadays, even physically accessing what was once an African gateway to the Middle East and Europe is a challenge: Lufthansa, the only Western airline that serviced Asmara, Eritrea’s capital, ceased flying there in October 2013, and the European Union has banned Eritrean Airlines for safety reasons.Today, there is a growing sense that a crisis point is approaching. “Eritrea’s definitely going to blow,” predicts Selam Kidane, an Eritrean democracy activist based inLondon.”3

By Kidane Tsegai


1Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat: The Great Speeches by Winston Churchill 2007

2The Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology, T. Teo (Ed.), Springer, 2013. The Psychology of Oppression :Carl Ratner

3”Eritrea is definitely going to blow” Michela Wrong, March 2014




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Eritrea: Not yet ready for prime time.


As of late, few articles have appeared by former U.S. diplomats that pose the idea of relaxing the U.N sanctions against Eritrea. While these former diplomats are raising this issue from their concern for U.S. national interest, hoping against hope, that normalizing relations between the U.S. and Eritrea would enlist Eritrea in the war against terrorism in the Horn of Africa region.

It is of  course natural to think positive about nations and their possibility of making changes by governments from their erroneous and destructive path, into becoming a peaceful nation and act “normal”, so to speak. In the case of the State of Eritrea, it is totally unnatural to become a peaceful part of the community of nations. From its inception, the government’s pre disposition to be violent to its own citizens as well as going to war with its neighbors, Yemen, Djibouti, Ethiopia, etc. are testimonies of the Eritrean regime’s heavy reliance on the belief that “might is right”. It is only, and only when the fire that the regime has lit burns itself, then, for some time to come, take time off to lick its wounds.

Even when, the Eritrean regime “appears” to be trying to improve relations with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, according to UN Monitors report, “strengthening of relations with Mogadishu seems to be driven by tactical decisions in Asmara that continue to contribute to regional destabilization. In particular, the government of Eritrea maintains close links to a network of warlords and other spoilers in Somalia, which includes at least two leaders of Al-Shabaab.”1

As a foreign policy is a reflection of a state’s internal policy, the state of Eritrea is hell on earth for its citizens. As a matter of fact, the growing discontent by Eritrean citizens, the arbitrary detention of thousands of prisoners, the mass exodus from Eritrea, to the neighboring states of Sudan and Ethiopia, and to further destinations as well, is a confirmation of the inherent brutality of the regime in Asmara.

In the same report cited above, it states, “Whereas the Government of Eritrea previously coordinated much of the financing of Somali armed groups and other illicit activity from its Embassy in Nairobi, it has now shifted and diversified such operations to the Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda and Yemen, as well as fronting a number of business operations in these locations. These intelligence and business networks create important support structures for Asmara to execute any policy of regional destabilization, including providing support and assistance to representatives of Al-Shabaab”.2 What a damning affidavit?

S 2013/440 continues to state, that “the Monitoring Group has obtained information about Eritrean military intelligence and financial operations in Kampala and Juba. Eritrean and intelligence sources in both Kampala and Juba confirm that Eritrea’s ruling PFDJ party have fronted a number of business operations, from restaurants and hotels in Kampala and Juba, to water distribution and food and beverage imports in Juba, often working closely with Ugandan and South Sudanese businessmen as silent partners”.3

This information should be coupled with the report presented to US Congress Subcommittee on Africa, which called on a “credible investigation to be initiated to determine whether Eritrea is providing resupply support to South Sudanese rebels”4 If that is so, the report calls for “sanctions on Eritrea should be expanded to include South Sudan as well”5

While the preponderance of evidence shows as otherwise, those that call for easing of sanctions on the State of Eritrea, are simply far removed from reality and don’t really understand the true nature of  the regime.


Kidane Tsegai



A-1,2,3, UN Monitoring Report (S2013/440)

B-4and 5 US Congress’s Sub committee on Africa hearing. Feb 26,2014


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