Ezana Sehay 02/10/17 It is conventional wisdom that politicians are more likely than the general population to be susceptible to sociopathic traits. Such politicians tend to be selfish, callous, remorseless, users of others, irresponsible, glib, con

Ezana Sehay 02/10/17

It is conventional wisdom that politicians are more likely than the general population to be susceptible to sociopathic traits. Such politicians tend to be selfish, callous, remorseless, users of others, irresponsible, glib, con artists, and of course pathological liars. Furthermore, they have high sense of self-worth, are chronically unstable, and poses unrealistic goals.

Brimming with seemingly easy charm and boasting calculating mind, a psychopath politician promotes populist agendas.  But should something go wrong, like the criminal psychopath, exhibit failure to accept responsibility for his/her actions. Such a leader eventually creates pathocracy – a totalitarian system bent on power, control, and deprivation of basic human rights.

I don’t think I need to hit you over the head too hard with the point here, do I?  The world has come to know Isayas Afeworki, the Eritrean president, as a petulant, vindictive, and pathologically narcissistic demagogue.

So, when the Eritrean state media announced he [Isayas] is going to give an “interview” initially I shrugged it off.  The problem with Isayas’s interview – – it is monotonous. But against my intuition [hopping he might say something new and relevant] I proceeded to watch the “interview”. Boy! Was I wrong. As I watch him unwind his thousands-word toxic screed on national TV, almost felt sorry for the man – the once astute statesman is now reduced to self-parody. What could be sadder than a man in his 70s mumble incoherently for hours. Listening to him; would annoy you, make you sad – to keep listening you need to have semantic anesthesia.

The first part dealt with internal issues, particularly the economy. Isayas’s assessment of the economy is as gloomy as ever, he admitted that there is not a single sector of the economy that is functioning.  Yes, it is that bad, so bad, even Isayas couldn’t pretend otherwise. But none of it is his fault, apparently. Per him the blame falls on the usual external suspects. Further, displaying his customary show of contempt for the Eritrean people, he didn’t bother to forward a remedy for the ailing economy. He just told the people to suck-it up.

The Eritrean people are being asked to sacrifice even more precisely when the pain of prevailing socio-economic situation is becoming unbearable – there is precious little left to squeeze out of the ordinary Eritrean, either by bankrupt economy or bankrupt state.

In his second part of the interview [by far his favorite] he dealt with politics – not local of course.  Isayas the habitual scrambler of chronology; started mumbling about irrelevant [geopolitics] gibberish and then steered to his usual cheap chicanery argument of “we are surrounded by enemies”.  Having lost the most pointless game of political chicken; you would expect a grand sense of reflection and change of approach, not Isayas.

A typical dictator that he is, Isayas is a man of many plots. He is a plotter who is for ever plotted against, at least in his own mind. As he sat there in his Masawa palace, controlling his hermit kingdom with lies and suppression, he has grown convinced that his enemies are scheming against him. He assumes they are like him.

Throughout the two-part interview there have been so many lies, contradictions and distorting claims made by Isayas, that by the end of the interview, I couldn’t tell whether his claims are laughable, annoying or both.

Much of Isayas’s misleading and irresponsible rhetoric may be nonsense, but there is no denying the real damage such nonsense can do to everyone listening. As nonsense is a disruption of reason or meaning, it necessarily shatters our most fundamental beliefs, which is what makes it so captivating, and so dangerous. Hearing Isayas’s brand of nonsense in the context of national affairs may fall short of apocalyptic, but it does feel truly dystopian.

By any socio-economic metrics, Eritrea has become a failed state. But that is not a concern, not a bit for Isayas, so long he thinks his power is safe. Isayas’s willingness to prioritise power above all else; including the welfare of the Eritrean people who have sacrificed a lot for almost a quarter of a century, his ruthlessness, and utter lack of social conscious is with no parallel.

He, if ever, no longer sees the Eritrean people with dignity and worth but as things to be manipulated, maneuvered, canned, in to believing he has their best interest – but kills, incarcerates if they dare step out of line – all the while refusing to own up to his failings, God knows how many.

The mounting failures and blander of Isayas and the government he leads has made Eritrea a one-legged stool. Check this out.  Isayas has been in power of government for 26 years, that is equal to a period of one generation. If we take the average African annual birth rate [the government haven’t conducted an official census] as a guide, the population of the country should’ve grown by almost two million.

Consider the following fact: according the UNHCR data, in the time between 2000-2015, almost 700,000 Eritreans youth have fled the country. This number doesn’t include the tens of thousands of undocumented ones. Those who remain inside the country are condemned to a perpetual slave labour camps. Put another way, thanks to Isayas the youth of post-independence Eritrea has become a disposable-generation. Consequently, concerned Eritreans are voicing their anxiety as this is leading to the “Palestine-ization” of Eritrea.

To recap: what ever hopes the Eritrean people may have had of Isayas salvaging a vestige of responsibility from the charred rubble of his rule: those are now gone.  Instead, the president retreated further in to his dogmatic cocoon. He turned in a braying, scowling, often in coherent rendition, which he capped, astonishingly, by declaring to strengthen his party [PFDJ] and restructuring the country’s admirative zones for the sheer purpose of control.

Put differently, the “interview” was a display of incompetence and ignorance to put all his previous forays to shame.  Isayas has proven to be a consummate aloof. When it comes to politics and statesmanship, it’s accurate to say he has no idea what he’s talking about. What’s more: He expresses no desire to learn. Instead he spins his ignorance as a virtue all the while distorting the facts.




Review overview
  • Weyno February 10, 2017

    Its the same old, same old,

  • hidat February 10, 2017


    • Sol February 11, 2017


      ኣብ ባይታ ዝረኤ ዘሎ ደኣ ከምታ ንሱ ዝበሎ ስለዝኾነ እወ ሕማም ጥምየት ስደት ውርደት ኾይኑ ኣሎ ናብራና ህድኣት ሓፍትና

  • k.tewolde February 11, 2017

    This eloquent writer of this article refers the tyrant ,’…the once astute statesman is now reduced……’,let me rephrase that,the once slick con artist who played the people like a violin,that is all he was,that all he is,just an old washed out skunis now who is loosing a bigger audience to bullshit with,he reminds me of the sidewalk TALATA WEREGA players who used to swindle DEKI KEBABI of their hard earned daily labor pocket change.Otherwise,you can’t paint a better picture on the canvas of this sinister humanoid.

  • Z. Hagos February 11, 2017

    Isaias’s year after year failures have perfected him in plots and conspiracies. Because Isaias never learns from his mistakes, he knows that he is not prepared to be right. His cruelties, wrongs, and screw-ups transformed Eritrea into slaughterhouse. His failure produces nothing but more failure and frustrations. So also his speeches are intended to produce nothing but more confusions and frustrations.
    Those tough Eritreans with strong backbone are working day and night for free building roads and bridges. But unfortunately, those roads and bridges are purposely denied maintenance and as a result they immediately crumble and become structurally not sound for use. Isaias now is blaming the Sawa youth and all those on volunteered to give hand.

    • alem February 11, 2017

      Z hagos
      Isseyas has names for every body including himself.
      He called intellectuals melmexti zahli who are leaving eritrea looking for leftover in the west, buisiness people medenagerti, the youth begamindo bzitelaekelom genzeb fentahtah ziblu, himsef a patriotic who does not wish to leave adu where ever that is. But he also contradicts himself and says eritreans are hard working, and resourseful where ever they go. He tries to talk like expert in all areas and exposes his lack of knowledge in all fields. He is in a very bad shape with a display of alzthimers disease. He answers about humera when asked about asmara and talks about the usa when asked about eritrea, about ethiopia when asked about salary. Etc.

  • Bereket February 11, 2017

    We can Help!!!

    I challenge Eritreans who claim that the problem in Eritrea is PIA.

    1. if PIA is the only problem, then why do we have the same, chaos or failed state situation in Italian Somalia and Libya?
    2. Those three countries were the only three fascist Italian colonies in the world and have acquired a distorted personalities.
    3. The reason is the fascist Italian army recruit was a collection of low self steam, unemployed, uneducated and frustrated youth, almost “Skinheads in uniform” which has demonized and degraded the indigenous colonies through relentless insults and kicks and African culture and gentleness evaporated and replaced by weird and superfluous mindset.
    4. Proof, the distinct character between English Somali Land and Italian Somalia. Italian Somalia having acquired the same disease like Eritrea and Libya
    5. So is not only PIA or Ghedli generation, but the mother of all, the Fascist Italian pollution that needs to be cleansed.
    6. The carriers of this disease must acknowledge that they needed help, and we can all help and advise to restore their dignity and civility.
    7. The cleansing has to start with top leadership of PFDJ, from there can go down the chain to the grass root level. with out such total cleansing process, the chaotic Eritrean culture will persist.
    8 Yosef GebreHiwot, in his successive logical arguments have intelligently demonstrated, that, the root cause of present predicament is pined to the Urban elites having rejecting their African ancestral norms and civility for that of colonial delusions.

    • Memhir February 11, 2017


      Come on man! Italian colonization is the root of our problems? Finding the diagnostic for our problem has been written and rewritten many times and has not helped so far, but to point to Italy for our trouble is not one of them. In a small country like Eritrea, the capital city like Asmara is every thing. The educated, the business people, the trouble makers, the transplants, the skunis, – all come from there. So most of the group came from Asmara. My friend, we trusted them for a noble cause and we won that fight after huge sacrifice. However, the group through us under the bus and Isaias is the head of that group.

      • PH February 11, 2017

        In fact, the schunis of asmara where those who stollen our heritage, development and well being. They served feudal banditory, that is all,mostly from Tigray –

        • yeabyo February 11, 2017

          Why did you forget the Italian somalia and Libya which I offered as a proof. Did you know the British Somalia and Italian Somalia are not compatible in every manner? Italian Somalis like the Asmarinos are illogical, weird superfluous, and overzealous farting!!! They were exact before the Italians arrived!!!

  • Teclay February 11, 2017

    Ezana Sehay
    With all due respect ,what do you want to tell us ?? I think you want to tell us that the President’s interview was nonsense –Yes,so what ??Your English is very good ,you must be uneducated person..If so,is that what we expected from educated brothers like you(repeating what we already know )?? You are surprised ,because the slave owner was not accountable for his deeds …Is there any unaccountably and responsibility in the relation of slave and its owner ??? I am not surprised at all about Isaias’s interview,but i am about you educated class who fell in love with the colonial legacy.

    • Teclay February 11, 2017

      Please,,read as you must be an educated person

  • GG February 11, 2017

    Agenae Haw Ezana!
    It is a well articulated article and I hope your readers fully understand its important contribution to the “alternative narration” – an Eritrea where the “rule of law” is respected. The “alternative narration” should start from a correct description of the current situation of Eritrea (reality description) and you skillfully did that. You beautifully showed what it means to have “a malignant narcissistic leader “at the helm of power in Eritrea.
    I would like to commend you for a job well done

    • Teclay February 11, 2017

      ንናይ ሓውና ኤዛና ጽሑፍ, alternative ወይ ካልእ ኣማራጺ ክትብል ንኢድካዮ። ካብቲ ካልእ ብኢሳያስ ጀሚሩ ብኢስያስ ዝውድእ ማእለያ ዘይብሉ ጹሑፋት ብምንታይ ስለ ዝፍለ ኢኻ “alternative narration ” ክትብል ንኢድካዮ????

  • alem February 11, 2017

    if u want to say eritrea should be united with tigray, forget it. I doubt will continue to be part of ethiopia, not that it does not want but will be purged out by the rest. If what u want to say is that issu should be deleted out, he is only a step away. Naturally or violently, he will be erraed. And then u will see who we eritreans are. We are not weyane or tegaru who steal lands from neighbours.

    • Misgena February 11, 2017

      you got it wrong my friend. Actually Asmarinos are the most corrupt people. In Ethiopia there was law level feudal corruption. The mafia type corruption was spread to Ethiopia by Asmarinos. Asmarinos also spread corruption to the God fearing people of Sudan. I am not saying Eritreans but Asmarinos later dressed in Shaebya uniform spread corruption like wild fire from 1991 up to 1997.. did you forget Eritrea being registered the 7th largest coffee exporter in the world? what about the black market corruption of foreign exchange? etc…etc during the ghedli years Asmarino corrupted Sudan including by offering Eritrean ladies to officials. but if Issayas is removed and peace reigns across the boarder what you would encounter is not the Ethiopians you knew in 1998, I will be surprise if Asmarinos will not be a victim of New generation of Ethiopians with new caliber and sophistication.

      • alem February 11, 2017

        I do not answer to agames who suffer from ldentity crises. If u are eritrean present ur point clearly, instead of suggesting solution to our problem. We are not seeking for any help from u. U can,t even put words in to correct sentences.

  • alem February 11, 2017

    I doubt tigray will continue to be part of ethiopia not that it does not want to but will be purged out by the rest.

  • alem February 11, 2017

    Thanks ezana for the sensational article and proper description of the president unelects intrinsic nature and his social and psychological disease.

    • PH February 11, 2017

      Bravissimo! You always hook good points on the head of sadistic once. Eri should have responded to teclay and Bereket but absolutely absent. Keep on brother.