The enigma: “Eritrean Solutions for Eritrean Problems”, exposed.

Whenever this maxim comes in the Eritrean political vernacular, it reminds me of the same 19th Century maxim, if not in meaning, at least, in the message it conveys: "Why did the chicken cross the road?" 

Whenever this maxim comes in the Eritrean political vernacular, it reminds me of the same 19th Century maxim, if not in meaning, at least, in the message it conveys:

“Why did the chicken cross the road?” 

It is a pretty humble question; isn’t it?

“Because it wants to be on the other side of the road,”

is the equally humble answer.


A chicken doesn’t have cognitive abilities to figure out the reason for her crossing the road. From a human perspective, a chicken can cross the road, not for any other reason, but to wander, perhaps to look for food in the other side of the road.  Pretty obvious, Isn’t it?

Why would I go to the bank? I wouldn’t go to the bank for a good night out; but to conduct some financial transactions.  There shouldn’t be any controversy about it.  There shouldn’t be any inquisitive mind about my going to the bank.  That is where the maxim, ‘Why did the chicken cross the road?” makes absolute sense; despite the simplicity of the question.  The question is intended to state the truth or to highlight a statement of fact to an average person.  It is not an everyday joke or a double meaning Confucian riddle.  Where there is a humor, the question is intended to be anti humor.

Therefore, It is within this context that the slogan: Eritrean Solutions for Eritrean Problems, can be evaluated.  Sure enough, If it had been for Ethiopia to solve Eritrea’s problems, perhaps Ethiopia would have done it a while ago.  Eritrea is still under the brute dictator simply because no outsider shoulders the responsibility to remove him for us.  That job is solely for Eritreans and Eritreans only.  So, the statement of fact is:


Accordingly, the themed slogan, Eritrean Solutions for Eritrean Problems, can hardly fit for a rallying cry against the terminator of Eritreans; or, few would coalesce under this lofty slogan; unless, of course it carries an obscure meaning serving the few who possibly have a sinister motive.  Slogans don’t come out of the blue; they do have a special meaning and purpose to the initiator.  It is thus up to the user to explain what the slogan entails.

About a month ago and a good distance away [more than 8000 miles] from Eritrea, a group of Eritreans gathered for their annual “Bologna Summit” in Oakland California, to discuss – among other topics – the “eradication of dictatorship” from Eritrea, we were told.  There, speaker after speaker, itemized a litany of the dictator’s dereliction and prescribed us NOT what ought to have been done to eradicate the dictatorship from Eritrea, but what ought to have happen after.  “Now all of them are political analysts,” confided one participant.  So, the all too important job of ‘eradicating dictatorship’ was relegated – perhaps, intentionally – to somebody on the frontline.  Their supreme job is, so they thought, to ostracize that somebody who is in the vicinity of Eritrea from a lightyear away in Oakland.

When the now famous slogan, Eritrean Solutions for Eritrean Problems, first appeared in the Eritrean political lexicon at the last “Bologna Summit”, I wrote one participant of the summit to explain its meaning.  This is what I wrote him back then, verbatim:

Greetings to you,

You recently attended the Bologna Summit with your fellow change seekers under the banner of “Eritrean Solutions for Eritrean Problems.” 

[Mr.] @#$%, I am in no position to advice an able person like yourself the necessity of uniting the Eritrean youth for a common enemy.

But if I may ask you…

First, what resolutions did the Summit passed towards achieving this goal?

Second, what is the exact meaning of the slogan “Eritrean Solutions for Eritrean Problems”? People tend to be so judgmental and outwardly, people may give it different interpretations.  It is thus, better to understand the exact definition of the slogan and act accordingly.

I wouldn’t have asked you had I not believed in your ability.  And If you make it public, what an influential person must you be.  By asking this, I hope I didn’t invade your privacy.


Exactly as I expected, he, of course flatly ignored my message.  But the truth of the matter is, I am nobody for him to humbly answer my inquiry; nor do I complain for not getting one.  No!  The issue is, after all, couldn’t be about an individual.  By not replying  to my comment however, he glaringly shown that accountability is an alien concept to today’s opposition figures.  In fact, the best way of gauging their modus operandi is to just stoop so low to their level of thinking and consciousness and pretend to be their admirer; and see if you found yourself baffled.

Indeed, If one is generous enough to shower them with accolades, they are more than happy to reciprocate with their ‘thank you’ notes; or worse yet, those marauding ones try to always find a way, if not enriching themselves, at least railroad a genuine or potential member into milking his pocket, apparently in the name of ‘Eritrea’.  But if one is brave enough to be critical, irrespective of the validity of his opinion, the misfit is destined into oblivion.  These people [opposition figures] simply don’t understand the concept of compromise and ‘constructive criticism‘, where narrowing your differences is the hallmark of politics.  To them, conformity is the norm.  This [opposition camp] is the fertile ground the dictator so adeptly exploited.  It is not surprising, therefore, that people are migrating from Eritrea on biblical proportions and sadly, Eritrea is gazing the heavens for salvation as she is bleeding from the inside.

Socrates was one of the most influential philosophers of all time and his teaching are valid today as they are for millennia.  One of his most celebrated quotes is, “understanding a question is half an answer”.  Yea! understanding the misery of our people is halfway to the solution.  This is not only an analogy, but also a direct challenge to the so called ‘opposition camp’ to unite against a common enemy who is destroying Eritrea.  It is therefore, within this context that ‘Eritrean Solutions for Eritrean Problems’ is evaluated.  We very well know that most of this group’s members are banging the dictator’s door to beg for a ‘peaceful solutions’ to our country’s problems, despite the evidence to the contrary and his decades old mischief and chicanery.  Could it be a sideswipe at the brave Eritreans who are fighting tooth and nail to save Eritrea?   Or are they expressing their displeasure that some are based in Ethiopia and therefore, Woyane stooges?  Effectively repeating the dictators propaganda to his delight?   Perhaps so!

At their next pilgrimage, they have a right to gather in the moon under the same slogan, if that is what it takes to ‘eliminate dictatorship’, but they don’t have a right to denounce fighters at the gates of Eritrea.  To paint Eritrea’s situation as sad is, I think, a pale description.The more fitting picture would have been tragic.  Consequently, a tragic situation requires an immediate attention and not a prescription from far away places.  It is definitely better to be in the vicinity of Eritrea than a hemisphere away.

Tesfamichael Kidane          

Review overview
  • oromay September 24, 2015

    Centre staged in the wheel of change,they have been dragging forces to the unwanted direction by harboring vested interest to keep the statu squo at the expense of Eritrean people plights and nation destruction. The slogan is devoid of content and relevance. It can only serve their agenda to support the ragtags

  • Tes September 25, 2015


    It is really great article. It was really amused to see the Bolonga group twisted logic. They prescribe a solution from far away and waiting to see a monster to fall and to take the sit. No chance not again in 1m years. This group is full of able individuals, at minimal they can understand the current affair of Eritrea and Eritreans. The current situation doesn’t give time or luxury to sort the mayhem. The country is empty of its youth and in critical situation. Their sinister motive is a deliberately act driven by greed and eagerness to power. They don’t care about the ordinary fellow Eritreans who are in thick of the suffering. Thank you Tesfamichael for bring this to light and describing the group intention of prolonging the status quo.

  • bombastica September 25, 2015

    Thank you Mr.T. Kidane..! Very savvy. a clear narrative flow, and target oriented.I have enjoyed to read it, and i found it informative as well educating contribution.

  • Aman September 25, 2015

    Well said I think they were individuals who had different agendas to say some: personal gain, improving their CVs as mature politicians, win the x-sympathisers of the regime but who are still intoxicated by the propaganda of PFDJ in re- Ethiopians b/c for some it is a taboo to work with/in Ethiopians. Funny enough they think it is Ok with/in Sudan/Yemen and so on.

  • misraq adhanom September 25, 2015

    እቲ ሕቶ ክኸውን ዘለዎ ፣ወያነ እንታይ እንኦም ኮይኖም ኢዮም ነዚ ሕጂ ተቓዋማይ ዘሎ ህዝቢ ዘይሕግዝዎ ???
    ..እወ ኣብ ጊዘ ውግእ ባድመ (ውግእ ኤኮኖሚ)ንሕና ኢና ንዓጋመ ብሳልስቲ ኣዲስ ኣበባ ከነእትወን እሞ ነዘን ዓጋመ ንሕና ብሰሜን ኣምሓሩ ድማ ብደቡብ ኮይኖም ሳንድዊች ክንገብረን ሆ ኢልና ዝኸድናን__ብገንዘብ ድማ ፍርቂ ቢልዮን ዶላራት $500.000.000 dollars ዘዋጻእና__ ኣይሮፕላናትና ቆልዑ መቐለ ጨፍጪፈን ክመጻ ከለዋ፣እንቋዕ ኣይሮፕላናትና ጥራይ ብድሓን ተመለሳ ኢልና ዕልልልል ዝበልና፣ ሕጂ እውን ካብ ኢሳያስ ዝገደደ ፣ንሕና ተቓወምቲ ስልጣን እንተንሕዞ ኩሉ ሃቐንና ፕላናትና ነዘን ዓጋመ ከነሕፍር ዝኸውንስ__ንምንታይ ወያነ በዚ ንኣሽቱ ነገራት ተበጊሶም ዘይሕግዙና ኢልና ምሕታት ዝግባእ እዩ !!!

  • Mike September 26, 2015

    Thank you Tesfamicael, you have presented your article very well.
    If I remember it correctly, the above stated slogan started to surface, in 2011 in Washington D.C. Initially it was a big gathering, because no body paid attention to it. But afterwards, things started to fall apart because the slogan was found to be more divisive instead of bringing Eritreans together. Then, the gathering continued at least once a year under the same slogan, only with a change in venue .Italy, South Africa, Bay area(USA)…. with almost the same faces and with the number which shrinks from time to time. I wonder why those people who gather in the meeting fail to understand why the slogan didn’t gather a momentum in bringing Eritreans together? I also wonder how do they evaluate their success?
    But, as you have mentioned it in your article the core point is “understanding a question is half answer”. For me the big problem is, the failure in identifying our main Enemy-” the Brutal regime-in Eritrea”. Mixing it up or equating it with “Weyane ” will take us no where. We will not be close to the solution, it just a vicious circle.

  • kilkul September 30, 2015

    Hamema tebezhu mekden tseba(?) neykeftu zbhal msla alo. Hiji dima akebatat tebezhe Meron, Daniel, Elsa Chyrum….. kalotin bebigroup akeba akaydkum ab meriet hayli silezeyele gin kemten zhalefa akebatat nay Addis Ababa koynen kiterfa eyen.
    Ane zgermeni nay Hzbi nkhat kinemaebil zbhal abehahila eyu entay eyu trgumu Hizbi Eritrea dea mo meas dyu nekihu 1950tat eyu nekihu.
    Hiji gin b senki natna hmket kulu bkulu dekimu denzizu eyu zelo.
    Silezi yehwat zfezeze mibrbar eyu zedlyo n su dima Etuk zkone hayli mmsrat eyu.