Top 10 reasons why PIA is sending Food Aid to Somalia

10    PIA andCo.have suddenly discovered their soft side – their affections for

other people, i.e. except for their own people.  (interview with Ali Abdu)

9       This is PIA reliving MAO.  In the mid-1950s, “Chairman” Mao sent food aid toEastern Europewhile his own people were starving to death. Greeceis next!

8       An opportunity to showcase the few bushels of grain grown at PIA’s HOBBY

       FARM called GERSET/FARKO.

7    Eritreahas suddenly leapt forward to become a DONOR country; fully

qualifying to become a member of G8/G20.  At next meeting PIA will be invited instead of his arch-nemesis, PM Meles Zenawi.

6     Revenge for being excluded from Somali Conference comprising of some

       30 countries during the 66th session of the UN assembly.

5     Designed to teach Al Shabab on how to convert food donations into a source of income.  [i.e. this will allow PIA to claim he didn’t finance Al Shabab directly.]

4     Show PIA’s hypocrisy by refusing food help toEritreaclaiming belief in self-sufficiency, and yet sending food aid to Somalis fostering dependency.

3     Show the world that the Eritrean cabinet is allowed to claim that it does make decisions once-in-a-while over secondary issues

2     Once PFDJ cadres and military officers are well-fed, the rest of the world can help themselves to Eritrean food, except Eritrean themselves.

1     Prove to the world that there is no drought and famine inEritrea



Other reasons to hoodwink or delay sending food aid after hoping to get 2-seconds of fame or world attention:

  • PIA will claim that he didn’t specify which year he will send food aid to Somalia except that it is part of his 20-year plan (after all he hopes to be around in power that long as he is Emperor-for-life)
  • PIA will claim to have sent food aid toSomaliabut will refuse to give “evidence” when it was sent and to “whom” it was given
  • PIA will send ‘qat’ grown in Semenawi Keih Bahri and claim that it is part of the food aid group approved by Eritrean Food & Drug Administration
  • PIA will send ‘teff’ and hope that Somalis return it because they don’t know what to do with it
  • PIA will claim typo error in Shabait’s news and claim that it approved to send food aid to Somalis and NOT Somalia, and instead feed Somali fighters being trained inEritrea



On a more serious note, the announcement that PIA is sending food raises yet more questions; who will PIA send the food aid to?

  • If PIA sends food aid to the Transitional Government of Somalia, then it would be tantamount to recognizing it and an acknowledgement of PIA’s wrong policies all this time
  • If PIA sends food aid to Al Shabab then it would be construed as yet another blatant example of ties with this group, further giving reasons to impose sanctions
  • PIA would be loath to give third parties and international aid organizations and agencies, such as WFP to distribute food on its behalf
  • If PIA sends his own people to distribute food, they may disappear to seek asylum, eat more food than they donated, etc…,


PIA will find himself even more isolated because nowKenyafinds the existence of Al Shabab as ‘clear and present danger’ to its economy, esp. tourism.  As the darling of the West, esp. US,BritainandGermany,Kenyamay become an equal proponent of sanction against the PIA regime asEthiopia.



What a lonely world for dictators?


Who would have thought even a year ago that authoritarian regimes such as inEgyptandLibyawould fall and its leaders hunted like common criminals.  It is PIA who feels that he has been betting on the wrong horses,

  • Brother Col. Ghaddafi’s demise will mean personal financial squeeze for PIA.  The Colonel has not spent a penny to develop Eritrea – no financial assistance for its infrastructure and no investments.  But what does one expect from a leader who stashed away $200 Billion while the country is still living in state of poverty.  One needs to compare Libya, which has been earning huge amounts of petro-dollars, to the Gulf States which have been quiet successful in leveraging their petro-dollars to create dynamic industrial and commercial businesses.  The Colonel stashed away his $200 Billion in Western Countries to be used and enjoyed by the West.  The only thing the Colonel has done with Libyan money was to buy the loyalties of African leaders, including PIA, who have enriched themselves at the expense of their people and countries.   By the way, what will happen to Tamoil gas stations inEritrea?  Did the Colonel send fuel to these gas stations for free as way of helping PIA?  If so, would the current fuel storage inEritrea be explained by the Colonel’s demise and getting worse?


  • The relationship between ex-President Hosni Mubarek and PIA was built on mutual desire to destroyEthiopia. Egypt has an eternal fear thatEthiopia’s development will mean the flow ofNileRiver will be reduced to a point that its survival will be threatened.  PIA has been courting President Mubarek, only to find that the Arab Spring has brought the new Generals toAddis Ababa.  AlthoughEgypt andEthiopia will never see eye-to-eye on the Nile issue, at least for now, PIA has lost an ally inEgypt.


  • The relationship between President Ahmedinejad and PIA has cooled off because the Iranian president finds himself at odds with the Ayatollah who feels that their president is becoming unruly.  Weak troublemakers aren’t PIA’s flavor. 


  • PIA bet on the situation inSomaliaonly to find himself ostracized and on the verge of being boycotted by the whole world. 


Authoritarian regimes loathe socio-economic developments because it will eventually threaten their absolute power.  It is for this reason that they would rather stash away their countries’ wealth in safe havens.  PIA is no exception!  As President Reagan would say “Trust but Verify”.  Those who are even the most ardent PIA supporters have the civic duty to verify whereEritrea’s wealth is being stashed away.  At least for now,Eritrea is poor for its 5 million population but very rich for PIA and Co. who are hoarding its wealth in personal bank accounts abroad.




G15 ßàEritrea


G15000’s, i.e. Eritrean prisoners of conscious, fate is now Eritrea’s fate. has Jerry (mouse) laughing over the “false” allegation that PIA’s planes were spotted in Baidoa (Somalia) unloading weapons for Al Shabab.  PIA, aka the foreign ministry, also published a vehement denial.


The world is accusingEritreausing the same “evidence” that PIA has given us over the imprisonment of Aster Yohannes, G15, journalists and thousands of other prisoners of conscious.  The parallels are the same:

  • G15 found guilty by suspicion, just as the world findsEritreaguilty by suspicion (per PIA)
  • G15 are guilty of standing up to PIA, as PIA is found guilty of standing up to US.  It is a food chain!


Those who think that PIA has done the right thing to G15000 should also accept PIA/Eritrea’s fate in the hands of the more powerful.


Lesson:  what goes around comes around!



Ethiopian Economy far outpacing Eritrea’s


Along with the Ethiopian government’s aggressive infrastructure development in hydro and wind power projects, cement factories, agricultural development, the Ethiopian government recently announced a $1.2 billion dollar project to revitalize the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway.  The project will be financed through loans from the Chinese government and built by Chinese companies.


What has PIA done in the last 10 years?  There is one Gerset/Farko Dam which feeds PIA’s Hobby farm.  Eritrean ports are in shambles while the Republic of Djibouti has modernized its port by contracting out to UAE firms such as Dubai World.  


No higdefawi can quantify projects undertaken in Eritrea, nor do they know what the current or future projects are.  None!  PIA has not spent a penny in Eritrea while stashing away billions of Eritreans hard-earned money, including 2%, in Chinese banks.  90% of the projects in Eritrea were and continue to be financed through slave labor or external grants from European Union or other donors.  Total projects undertaken in Eritrea can’t be more than $2 billion in the last 20 years, which is absolutely pittance, while Ethiopia continues to spend that much every year modernizing its infrastructure. PIA’s personal fortune is estimated to be worth more than the total investment in Eritrea for last 20 years.  Sheik Al Amoudi alone has invested over $5 billion inEthiopia, with additional $3 billion to be invested in the next 5 years. 


WHAT IS NOT HERE TODAY WON’T BE THERE IN 5 YEARS.   No development inEritreatoday means that there is nothing inEritreain 5 years. There is no rule of law and its economy is in ruins!  PIA & Higdefawiyans are in cahoots with the Ethiopian regime to destroyEritrea.



ENCDC & National Congress


What is lost in the latest enthusiasm among certain spectrum of the opposition camp is ‘what is the purpose of National Congress’.  Theoretically, it is supposed to bring all the opposition under one roof, create an illusion of government-in-exile, and hope to bring about change inEritrea.  If things worked that simple, everyone would have joined it.  What we all seek is success, be it through ENCDC or otherwise, but it isn’t that simple.


The National Congress is expected to announce some form of a government-in-exile (may be called by different names) and declare a transitional constitution overburdened with unworkable agenda.  This will only weaken the entire opposition movement by shifting away from campaigning to remove the regime to who and what will make up post-PIAEritrea.  Especially at a time when the Arab Spring is becoming an inspiration; at a time when the world is posturing to impose additional sanctions against the regime for its political follies; and at a time when Eritrean civic societies are putting the squeeze on the regime, ENCDC is re-shifting everybody’s focus to their overburdened agenda and their pitiful power games.


With many apologies of continued criticisms, this writer must say that ENCDC brings nothing to the table.  Unlike 99% of cyber writers that leave such statements dangling, this writer will outline the following reasons for debate


  • Change can only come from within the country, and ENCDC will NOT become an inspiration for internal movement.  For those who are cynical about internal change, one only needs to see the dynamics of other revolutions.  External efforts to bring about change can only be more successful if civic societies and advocacy groups do their thing.


  • ENCDC is trying to become one behemoth organization usurping the initiatives and feistiness of smaller organizations.  Such supra-organizations will spend more of their time trying to put out internal fires and playing their childish/amateurish politics; only to end up trying to impose draconian internal disciplines and rules to maintain peace.  We have poor organizational skills that will render ENCDC or its offshoots ineffective to point of irrelevancy.


  • Connected to the above point, ENCDC will not bring any new sets of skills or improvements than EDA, which was totally incapable of engaging in conflict resolutions.  As ASSENNA.COM pointed out, ENCDC leaders haven’t responded to its request for interview pertaining to changes to the meeting of the National Congress.  This is yet another sign of what is to come.  It is to be remembered that many within the opposition ridiculed ex-PFDJ supporters for ignoring tale-tale signs of dictatorship, but these same group are comfortable ignoring today’s tale-tale signs of ENCDC.


  • In order to overcome its internal challenges, the supra-organization will rely even more on the Ethiopian regime, as it has been doing for the last year or longer.  As such, a weak organization can neither lead the current movement nor post-PIAEritrea.


  • EDA, ENCDC or their future offshoots have no influence on PM Meles Zenawi’s current or future actions against PIA.  The only reason that ENCDC is bending backwards to please PMMZ is to maintain a base where it can remain as close to “cohesiveness” it can for when PIA falls.  The Eritrean opposition has found it difficult maintaining a base close toEritreaafter the Sudanese turned their backs against the opposition movement.


CONCLUSION:  National Congress and its activities are 1) weakening the current broad opposition movement without bringing anything new to the table by turning off the general public and specific interest groups, both domestic and abroad, because of its overburdened agenda and the perception that the opposition camp is only interested in power, and 2)  not workable in post-PIA Eritrea.  It is a lose-lose proposal!


Again at the risk of offending some, the one analogy that can be used for the current efforts of ENCDC/National Congress is like role-playing by kids except it is being done with real money and real lives.   Life is about moving down the learning curve.  With ENCDC, we are only moving up the learning curve.  What a waste!


Word of advice to ENCDC: 

>>> ‘too many cooks spoil the broth!’

>>>  Improvement is about moving down the learning curve, NOT repeating it from the top.



Ethiopia & the Opposition


Many of us seeEthiopiaand PM Meles Zenawi (PMMZ) through a black-white prism.   It only takes few articles in cyber world to see how much emotion is generated whenEthiopiais mentioned. 


The debate isn’t, or shouldn’t be, about whether we should have relations with the Ethiopian regime but what kind of relations should we have with it from opposition camp’s perspective.  In fact, PMMZ might just be the shining star in the Eritrean opposition mess.  However, it remains important that the Eritrean population perceive that the opposition camp is dealing with a partner and NOT a puppeteer.  It is for this reason that I support EPDP’s approach for raising the border issue with the Ethiopian regime.  Everybody knows that EPDP can’t resolve the border issue, but sends a desirable signal to the Eritrean public that it stands for Eritrean interests.  Deep down, astute Ethiopian politicians bent on removing the PIA regime do or should appreciate that prudent politics.


PIA and PMMZ have similar modus operandi, albeit PMMZ is more sophisticated but the aims remain the same, in propping up neighboring countries’ opposition groups, and to dump them if they have no use for them any more or if they are ineffective.  PMMZ’s attachment to ENCDC is no more than his attachment to Tamrat Layneh, Siye Abraha, etc… or any other. 


PMMZ wants to support a group or groups that will remove the biggest thorn on his side – PIA.  It doesn’t matter whether EDA, ENCDC, EPDP, or any other, or ENCDC today and EPDP tomorrow and then ABC the day after.  PMMZ hopes that his actions will also hit his secondary intentions with his chosen group but that remains secondary.  It is this uncertainty of being PMMZ’ darling that is leading Eritrean opposition to endless seduction dance to please their suitor.


As stated in previous articles, the fact that PMMZ is pursuing his personal, organizational and national interests, even at the expense ofEritrea, doesn’t make him an automatic enemy.  It is fair game as long as violence is not used, openly or covertly. It is up to Eritreans to take prudent actions to defend their interests. 





Their recent claim that they killed 12 ‘government’ soldiers should be totally condemned.  What is the point of killing forced conscripts? What is the point of such action?  Is it to say that they have a military wing, as a badge of honor to claim relevancy or organizations above all others?  Is it to weaken the regime? That won’t happen at a rate of 12 soldiers every six months.  Is it to help Ethiopian propaganda against the PIA regime as a counterbalance to Shabait’s similar claims inEthiopia? 


If it is about weakening the regime, why not set up a well-established smuggling operation intoEthiopiathat allows the regime’s conscripts to escape instead of killing them?


One more nagging question is, could the Senafe land mine claiming innocent lives be attributed to same operations gone wrong?  Is a collateral damage of 5 innocent lives for every 12 conscripted soldiers a justifiable armed operation or recklessness with people’s lives? 





Kudos to!  If a picture is worth is thousand words, Asmarino’s videos are worth millions.  We live in an age of ‘youtube’ where most of us prefer quick visual to reading.  Peaceful resistance depends on effective campaign against the regime, which has been largely left to media organizations and civic associations, while political organizations are busy …  






Reject the angers of Sayyd Qutb!




Berhan Hagos

October 26, 2011

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