Eritrea is at a cross roads in History: It is a challenging period: What is to be done is a burning question?

By Petros Tesfagiorgis When I was about to finish writing an article on peace, there was breaking news of the death of our elderly patriot Haji Musa in prison. Haji Musa Mohammed did not die in

By Petros Tesfagiorgis

When I was about to finish writing an article on peace, there was breaking news of the death of our elderly patriot Haji Musa in prison. Haji Musa Mohammed did not die in vain, he stood up and fought against injustices by different regimes in Eritrea. This time against the decision to appropriate the Al Dia Islamic School by PFDJ. It landed him in prison. Haji Musa become a rising sun and an inspiration to the fragmented resistance movement of justice-seekers in Diaspora.

On 31/10/207 the Al Dia students angered by the Government takeover decision and the imprisonment of Haji Musa took to the streets and marched from Akria to the city centre. It was a revolutionary move, a rare protest that has a historic significance.

The daring protest   has become a wakeup call for the Diaspora Eritreans. United they rose up in solidarity with the students and organised protests all over the world. We have never seen like this before. Muslims and Christians became one in condemning the brutal repression in Eritrea.  The protesters raised high the photographs of Haji Musa side by side with the imprisoned Christian Orthodox patriarch. Haji Musa is indeed immortalized. My condolence to the people of Eritrea, his family and the Akria community who have become victims of the regimes stop and search, intimidation and arbitrary imprisonment.

At the same time my condolence goes to the family of Haile Woldetensaie (Durue), actually condolence to us all the people of Eritrea for the death of our enlightened freedom fighter, who gave all his life fighting for independence and died in the inhuman dungeons of the regime. What a betrayal and a tragic end of a patriot.  He and 11 members of the G-15 were jailed on 18 September 2001.  They were imprisoned for no reason other than raising the implementing of the constitution and election during the meeting of PFDJ central committee which was their duty and was agreed upon.  Minister Mahmud Sherifo was assigned to chair the drafting of by-laws that govern political parties ready for the country wide election to take place at the end of 2001. The jailing was actually a coup de eta’ by   president Isaias against the PFDJ central committee members so that no election will ever take place.

At the same time the editors of the private newspapers were jailed bringing freedom of expression to an end so the ulterior motive of the unilateral action remains hidden from the gullible people of Eritrea. Haile symbolizes all those prisoners of conscience who are unjustly put in the dungeons of PFDJ. Haile’s death created an occasion to remember all those who were unjustly incarcerated without being brought to the court of law and to remind the Diaspora to wake up, rise up and not give up the fight.  We should persistently demand for democratic change and their release.

During the long years of struggle, Haile played a pivotal leadership role.   When he was the Foreign Minister of Eritrea, during the 1998 senseless Ethio-Eritrean war, he led the negotiation to end the fighting with the then Foreign Minister of Ethiopia – Seyoum Mesfun in Algeria.  During that time one of the witnesses Antony Lake, representing USA, described Haile as a competent statesman, conscious of the suffering of the peoples and bargained hard for immediate seize fire that got officialised by the two leaders Meles Zenawi and Isaias Afeworki signings the peace accord in Algeria on December 12, 2000.

Hale worked with passion to bring peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia, unfortunately, today people like Haile are absent in today’s PFDJ rule and the culture of hostility and war has prevailed.  PFDJ chooses to arm and train Ethiopian oppositions, squandering the meagre resources,  to overthrown the Ethiopian government – rather than pave the way for peace by showing good will to end hostility.  Thus, it is the people in Diaspora who should rigorously campaign for peace. It is a form of empowering themselves.

As a founding member of “Citizens for Peace in Eritrea” during the Ethio-Eritrean war I shared the same value of peace with Haile and I had several encounters with him in Asmara. It is with heavy heart that I re-visited those trying and difficult days. I will share my experience of CPE in an article that will follow soon.

In its 16 February 2018 Publication, the Indian Ocean Newsletter (ION) reported that “Official Communications between Ethiopia and Eritrea to resolve the border dispute in a peaceful way had already begun in the greatest secrecy.  But the ministry of information of Eritrea has denied saying “it is Another False Story.”

In spite of the unwillingness of the Eritrean regime for the people of Eritrea peace is priceless. It is the lack of peace and the violation of human rights that is destroying the fabric of the Eritrean society.  For a long time now the people of Eritrea have been expressing their wishes for peace   in prayers, mourning’s and religious events.   During the 2018 exchange of “happy New Year” the wishes of peace on what’s up –EMO- Viber and other social media was highly visible.  The picture of a dove that symbolizes peace was widely used.  However, the people are not hear and their wishes have not been translated into action (peace movement).  The people deserve to be heard and it is those living in the free world that must listen to their plight and be their voice and promote peace campaign/movement.

Kiki Tsegai who is contributing fascinating articles focussing on testimony of survivors during their dangerous journey to exile, finishes off her articles sighting the slogan   “Peace is a wall we will all create by building it brick-by-brick together”.

She herself took a dangerous journey when her husband Berhane Tesfamariam (Wedi Balila) was tortured to death by the Ethiopian military regime in Asmara. She had to flee. She understands the plight of refugees on the run.


Yes Peace movement is an arduous long journey. But it is a moral and spiritual crusade worth taking.


Here is the link of her latest article



To be continued

How we meet the challenge of these times will determine the world Eritreans and our neighbours children live in the future. 








Review overview
  • Deglel March 8, 2018

    Sadly it seems there is only one solution for Eritrea & that is praying to God to shorten Esayas’s cruel life. Period.

  • Nahon March 8, 2018

    “Sadly it seems there is only one solution for Eritrea & that is praying to God to shorten Esayas’s cruel life. Period.”


    Eseyas died in our hearts long time ago.
    Like every mortal human being one morning he will not be there.
    While heroes are mourned by a nation who lost them, his absence will be like the absence of a prison guard.
    Eritreans will be busy restarting the lives he had shuttered, going back to normality, and will have no time looking back too much to the past and remain prisoners of his legacy.

  • Kiki Tzeggai March 8, 2018

    Dear Petros,
    Your article lines up all the missing parts in today’s Eritrean politics. The main missing value being unity.
    Along that line, what is also missing is an honest dialogue of those who bear witness towards the so many directions that are becoming a breakage point among us. This is leading to unfathomable suffering for us – Eritreans – Our unity was always based on our diversity, our respect for one another and our historical background. I believe that the so called leaders need an acceptance of all that is going wrong. A firmer alliance among the so called “oppositions groups” that until now all they succeed at is to oppose each other and delay a peace process we so much deserve in Eritrea. If it takes to have the PFDJ come to a meeting point, then let it be! All these “leaders” need to accept that wisdom begins with acknowledgement of failure. They have failed miserably our Martyrs, our Veterans, our elderly and now 2 generations of our youth.
    The quote you mentioned was by Berhane’s – my late husband- who had a vision way ahead of his time about an independent Eritrea. He – and all our Martyrs – left us with so much and we have no right to dissolve it.
    Berhane also said “An Eritrean is never alone” and believed that after our freedom, the hardest part would have been to eliminate poverty from Eritrea. Never did our Martyrs believed that this tragedy would happen to Eritrea.
    Berhane and all our Martyrs did not envision this deep absence of unity. It is killing them all over again. Our unity will give them the rest they so much deserve. The importance of unity can never be overrated. It is our bounden duty to fight and restore it.
    I thank you.

    • AHMED SALEH !!! March 9, 2018

      Dear Kiki Tzeggai
      ‘An Eritrean is never alone ” . yes in deed in good and bad times .
      Good to know who you are . Be proud of your patriotic husband regardless present
      stage dominated by corrupted forces that ruled the country with tricks and treachery .
      I hope our people in general wake up to avoid self deception for the sake of integrity .
      Sadly , pride makes people arrogant and stubborn . We observe consequences from
      denying , deaf ears and closed eyes to create a recipe for social crisis . For time being
      we should use internet as alternative weapon which has the power to inspire and give
      hope for our unfortunate young generation .

      • Kiki Tzeggai March 9, 2018

        Dear Ahmed Saleh,
        Thank you for the kind words. When the upright principles our Martyrs left us with is testified by the living, it makes them smile. By telling about Berhane’s legacy you made him smile. I am personally grateful for that.
        Our Martyrs paid the utmost prize, so Eritreans would be kind to one another and cherish our freedom. They told us kindness is a music the deaf can hear and the beauty a blind can see. Eritreans are lost because we have been pulled in so many directions. On top of this there is the fight for the daily survival we go through. But we are known for our kindness and our strength. Let us be kind to those unkind Eritreans that lost hope, they need it the most. We can accomplish with kindness for one another what force and insults cannot.
        But kindness alone does not heal the torture rooms’ outcome. It does not dry the tears of Eritrean trafficked women; of our helpless young generations that for decades are living in the jungles of refugees’ camps. It does not bring back our so many Lampedusa tragedies. It takes more and each of us has a skill. Our common denominator being unity. Our respect for our Veterans. Standing together for our borders. Our flags fly high not because of the wind but because of the last breath our Martyrs took. That is too high honor to ignore or destroy. We will not let it happen and by uniting, we will make it. The majority of us has reached such a high level of humanity that is beyond those sick egos, be it back home or in the diaspora.
        Again thank you for the kind words. And thank you Assenna for becoming the platform to let us share random acts of kindness among Eritreans. Hope is still alive.

        • AHMED SALEH !!! March 10, 2018

          Dear Kiki
          I remember Berhane when I was elementary student with his brother
          Fassil . At the same time I was raised in neighborhhod not far from their house which was also closer to Petros tesfaghiorgis house .
          We lost many brothers with great personality who use to inspire the
          young generation at that era .
          Some topics we discuss brings our past memory back , life , life……… .
          Anyway thank you for well written wise comments . I believe we
          can conquer hatred if we can confront in UNISON and break the
          wall of fear that led silence to rule helpless people’s life .
          For realistic person there is nothing to loose unless dream made us
          to look like fools . Eritreans must expect difficult task to fix broken
          governance in near future especially on skilled man power plus
          highly educated citizens contrary communist style of Issayas policy
          to create militarized society . Hope is alive . RESPECT .

  • Danilo March 8, 2018

    I think we are looking the hole scenario crossing our legs and hands doing nothing so far except bla- bla. We don’t even take example from others neither from altrove nor does out door. i. è in Palestina or Ethiopia, what does mean a popular figures? Always tell means of reaction.

  • AHMED SALEH !!! March 8, 2018

    At the time border conflict has resolved we will witness another phase of defiance by those military forces against Issayas leadership similar to G15 reaction when BADME war ended . For more than twenty years our people became victims of political conspiracy that hold them hostage from fear and uncertainty , But unless
    he want buy extra time I doubt Issayas has a will to allow thousands trained men/women back in civilian life because his aim had been to lead the country under strict military rule designed years ago in SAHEL office .
    At this moment our people demand simply for reform in some aspects of social and economic systems which
    is reasonable comparing political revolution that might bring chaos ..
    We ERITREANS owe the promise vowed to our unsung heroes .

  • BLAY March 9, 2018


  • BLAY March 9, 2018


  • Bajet March 9, 2018

    How could you possibly compare the peoples hero Haile deruE who was arrested and killed because he called for constitution, justice and democracy in Eritrea while the Haj Musa only challenged the regime for sharia law in his school?

    • Tekeze March 9, 2018

      Dear Bajat,
      I also agree with you whole heartedly brother.
      Assenna must be short of real heroes (Harbegnatat) to include the Muslim Haj Musa as a hero.
      I would not call him or any Christian or other religion leader for just speaking about their interest as religious leaders should stay away from dirty politics.
      Yes, the poor man Mr Haile Derue can be classified as a hero of Eritreans as he sacrified his precious life for Eritreans and we have to try and help look after his unfortunate family.

  • Danilo March 9, 2018

    Bajet, you missed the qualculation! Please take reference. Probably you may be able to know who is he. Otherwise you can not make a difference on equation value.

    • Bajet March 9, 2018

      If you are too ignorant or too illiterate to understand my comment then too bad but I don’t have time or patience to waste with illiterate ignorant actors pretending to be smarty and educated.
      Otherwise, what the hell are you talking about “qualculation” crap? Do you actually mean “calculation”?, you must be a lousy/failed mafia businessman to bring “calculation” out of a blue!!!!
      Furthermore, what “reference” do you really want me to take? Are you on high drugs by any chance? In short, Haile deruE can be called a hero but your Haj Musa is just an opportunist loser.

  • Danilo March 10, 2018

    Bajet, you can call me illiterate as much as you can. But, since you seam to be an unable or can’t differentiate between the two equal patriots then you have more mistake than my spelling errors. Please open your mind again, pls take history reference why 2 = 1