Voice of Assenna: Intv with Mr Yemane T/Gergish, former EPLF Intelligence Officer & Member of the Secret Party – Part 19 & Final, Thursday, Nov 27, 2014 ( Call 14695139711 for Questions & Comments)



Review overview
  • Yohannes Gebray November 29, 2014

    I was impressed and agree with your assessment and advice you gave in your last interview. Esayas and his cronies will use whatever means to extend their hegemony. They will use Machiavellian tactics to create a hypothetical enemies (as they were using possible Ethiopian aggression to extend forced conscription) religious and provincial divisions. The Eritrean people should be able to see beyond Higdef’s smoke screen and understand the devious plots of Esayas and his cronies.

  • Teclay November 29, 2014

    I agree word to word with what you said.

    Mr.Stefanos T.
    With all respect,,as i know you are an intelligent person let me bring an argument which does not necessary agree with yours.
    Mr.Stefanos ,,you count a number of misdeeds by the Ethiopian Army ,,,Yes you are right.I absolutely agree with you. Then i am going to ask you a few questions.
    -You know cause and effect,, so the misdeeds were after or before 1961?,,I think once the war started unfortunately civilian casualties are always there.
    – Do you think,the misdeeds of the Ethiopian army is enough and plausible reason to wage a separatist war?,,,then what will be our answer if the Kunama and Afar also wage a separatist war?
    -What do you think? wasn’t it easier to wage an Ethiopian wide Gheldi(revolution) to democratize the whole Ethiopia ?,,,,I believe it would have been less cost and much quicker.If you let me to estimate..within 3 years the Ethiopian revolution lead by Eritreans could have succeeded.And our SIWUAT might have been maximum 1000,instead of 100,000.

    Mr.Stefanos only a fool can destroy his small hut house to built a big Villa without preparing all the necessary materials and knowledge.So our Ghedli generations brothers were not far sighted.Before starting the disastrous war which eventually lead us to our extinction,the Ghedli generation should have evaluated all possible scenarios, how Eritrea would be after independence,,while a war is a war it is not a kinder garden .
    So MR. Stefanos we have to talk about the illness by itself not about the symptoms.To talk only about an individual called Isaias is a shame at minimum . After all all revolutions have been lead by dictators.,,But not all Ghedlis (revolutions) are right.There are a right Ghedl i and a wrong Ghedli..In my Opinion ,,an example of the right Ghedlis were in France,,,Vietname,,Zimbabwe,, Angola etc
    Example of wrong Ghedlis are ,,,,Cambodian,,,Eritrean ,,,the Woyanay,,the Tamil Tiges,,etc.

  • Dawit November 29, 2014

    Ambesa wedi Eritrea,at this time what we need is as you said it UNITY. Thanks see you soon in free Eritrea.

  • Yonas November 29, 2014


    I agree with your comment, however this must have been the interviewer way of presenting the questions to the interviwee but not blaming the interviwee him self. Muslim population of Eritrea are not considered to be the second class citizens. In my view, what would have been appropriate was to include and name of the provinces such as Semhar, Barka and others. It is not right to talk about three provinces of Akeleguzai, Hamasien and Seraye and exclude the rest as being just Muslims, we shouldn’t forget there are also Muslims in those three provinces. Are they not considered by their provinces?

    Again as a correction to Yemane, you have mentioned the High ranking Muslim officials of the secret party compromised their religion for the sake of Isaias and so do the Christians I believe. Isaias let both sides to compromise their religions.

    • Senayit December 1, 2014

      We all know that with the exceptions of the three provinces the others five provinces have a clear political stand. They always stood for independence. The Ethiopia mercenary Isayas wedi Medhin Berad is the one that used the divided and ruled tactics in order to accomplish his miss, that is to surrender ERITREA to Ethiopia. Thanks to Yemane for telling us the truth, that our number one enemies are Isayas wedi Medhin Berad and hid blind follower not our provinces. We should all unite and get reed diablos Isayas and his blind followers.

  • Samrawi G/hiwet November 29, 2014

    One of the tragedies of the Eritrean armed struggle is its failure to create a true Eritrean identity based on justice and fairness and perhaps some values of government intrinsic in our traditional societies. Blinded by its limited scope of separating Eritrea from Ethiopia, ghedli has conveniently overlooked the contradictions, albeit, non-antagonistic to let it fester and produce a country in the precipices of destruction.

  • Henok Girmay November 29, 2014

    Ghedli is history. Why should we focus on something that started half a century ago and ended more than two decades ago? Now it is time for us to discuss how we can contribute to overcome our predicament under the PFDJ, and what kind of positive role we could play in the democratic transition of Eritrea after the fall of the PFDJ.

    • delai fithi November 30, 2014


      I have heard many express similar to your sentiment about the virtue of discussing the past.
      I agree that we need to discuss “what kind of positive role we could play in the democratic transition of Eritrea after the fall of the PFDJ”.

      But in the process we must not ignore the past. The Eritrean past is muddled and to this day there are many versions of what actually transpired in the course of Ghedli. Yemane has cleared some of the confusion. I believe his interview will help in further demystifying Isaias and reveal to many true believers that he is simply a brutal thug. This is one possible contribution of looking into the past through insiders like Yemane. It will help bring some into the fold of the struggle to get rid of this tyrant.

      It is also important to understand the past so as not to repeat mistakes and to learn. It has been said, “those who don’t understand the past are doomed to repeat it.” It is also our history. We need to know who was who and who is who. The good and the bad. So please don’t disparage the focus on our history. We should all learn from it and move forward.

      My only regret is that I wish Yemane and Assenna had more time to continue the interview. Not only is Yemane rich with experience, he is also an excellent communicator. I am certain he has a lot more to say, which is of value. I hope he puts it in writing.

      In this latest segment, your analysis of Awrajawinet is spot on.
      Isaias spared no one for Awrajawinet reasons. He victimized anyone that he perceived as a threat to his power. The prominent figures of the 1973 Menka movement may have been from one region but there were lives cut short from every region.

      In 1976, as you stae, he did not spare Solomon Woldemariam after he saw him as a threat. And later the G15 were composed of every region in Eritrea.

      Isaias is about Isaias. He would crucify Hagos Kisha or Yemane Monkey today, if they deviated an inch from his line, not that there is any hope of that ever. These are individuals brought to the fore because they owe their position to Isaias. Dictators like to do that. They don’t like people who have acquired prominence through their own track record and heroism. Isaias is a scared tyrant who doesn’t take any chances. He believes in elimination to prolong his days. He sees enemies everywhere and believes accurately that he is under siege. Such a human being is most dangerous!

      Another point that Yemane made was about the G15. I know very little about the G15 aside from what I hear and read. However, I often wondered why Drue and Petros are/were the rallying cry of the diaspora. As Yemane correctly observed, they only spoke out after they were sidelined. Otherwise, all indications are that they knew a lot of Isaias’s crimes and possibly participated in some. I agree with Yemane that they deserved their day in court before they were devoured by the hyena but it is quite another thing to portray them as icons of the opposition websites. This shows bankruptcy and that we still worship family connections and individuals above principles and ideas that will move us forward.

      As a side note,one of the opposition websites once featured both Abdella Idris and Melake Tekle. For God’s sake, Abdella Idris killed Melake Tekle. You can’t have it both ways. One is a murderer and the other is a victim. If you are for justice, you have to take a clear position.

      Another point of current discussion is whether Ghedli was worth it or not. This topic requires an extensive treatment due to the massive confusion being unleashed to demoralize the Eritrean people. For now, I will just say that the Ghedli turned out the way it did was not the only possible outcome. There were many possible outcomes. A bright opportunity was lost due to a horrible leader. We could have been talking about a great, prosperous and hopeful Eritrea today. Sadly that is not the case and some opportunists are using this tragedy to question the entire legacy of the struggle.

      The struggle did not originate from a vacuum. There were objective conditions in Ethiopia that forced Eritreans to abandon everything and join the struggle. Yemane is a case in point. He could have had a good life if he wanted to pretend in Ethiopia. He was a University student with a bright future. He could have gone to Zemecha and then acquire a scholarship to one of the Eastern European countries and lead a professional life either in Ethiopia or somewhere in the diaspora. Like many of his compatriots of that time, he chose to join Ghedli. Growing up in Addis Ababa,I am sure he experienced first hand the selective victimization of Eritreans. As a proud Eritrean, he did not like the extinction of his language Tigrinna (that he speaks beautifully) by Haile Selassie and his insidious educational machinations and the many systemic ways that Eritrean autonomy and existence as an entity were being undermined.
      When the Dergue came, Mengistu’s single most important project was Eritrea. He wanted to destroy everything Eritrean. He was not alone in this. He had a reservoir of support even among the so called progressive Ethiopians of the time.

      As a young boy, I saw my innocent relatives dragged from their homes never to be heard from again. I could list pivotal events in Eritrean history that drove people to Ghedli. Mengistu was an Ethiopian Hutu. Examples are many like massacres in Weki Dubba and places across Eritrea.

      To those who romanticize Ethiopia, I will say you are naïve. The Eritrean struggle was inevitable after the terms of the pseudo federation were systematically eroded and undermined. That it ended up at the mercy of a sycophant like Isaias does not invalidate a profound resistance to targeted and vicious form of oppression. Were mistakes made? Yes. A revolution is never clean anywhere.

      The task facing us is to correct our situation. Yemane is right, there is a psychological campaign being waged from south of the border to make us question everything about ourselves as a people. Our misfortune at this time has allowed them to gloat.
      If they have our best interest at heart, why don’t they simply allow the demarcation the border? Not demarcating the border only helps Isaias and to bleed us as a people.

      One does not create a healthy political union through blackmail. As bad as Isaias is, we are also blackmailed by our neighbors to the south.

      • Kissanet November 30, 2014

        “The struggle did not originate from a vacuum….” well said Delai Fithi!
        Not indeed, one should not philosophise without considering the objective situations of the time. Ghedli was an outcome of manipulative administration of Ethiopia.Things would have looked different had the choice for unity, autonomy, confederation or independence taken the right procedure.
        The comparison between the rendered martyedom and the resulted mess can make one think if ghedli was really worth. This is but a legitimate point of free-time discussion with no effect on the current neighbourhood with Ethiopia that’s brought about by Ghedli.
        It’s now highest time we talked about Eritrea,its problems and shattered dreams and not about retrospective assessments of Ghedli.

  • Danie November 29, 2014

    Thank you. Mr Yemane for great narration and genuine interview. I hope others will follow you your footstep, to tell and guide us to the right direction.

  • Dante November 29, 2014

    In order to own an imagined Eritrea, and an alien one for that,
    the ghedli generations and romantics had to disown the real Eritrea that is the real
    Habesha Eritrea on the ground. Mr Yemane, in due time history and the people of Eritrea
    will judge you harshly indeed. You see Mr Yemane, a lot of our youth, have a lot of anger
    directed at the PFDJ (and by extension at your EPLF) because they don’t see you as liberators
    but power abusers and alcoholics. Here is a popular Tigrigna proverb that perhaps describes you
    that is “dihiri may nab biAti”, simply don’t try to wash your hands now as your weren’t clean from the
    killing machine of your ghedli-mendef. We will not be fooled 100 times by you and your EPLF/PFDJ gangs. God bless Eritrea.

    • delai fithi November 30, 2014


      Please understand that every nation state is an imagined one. How a political community forms and decides to imagine itself depends on complex historical factors. You say imagined Eritrea is an alien one. What country in Africa has a non alien origin? Even the name Ethiopia is not indigenous to the country. It is a name used by the Greeks to denote everyone black. It’s literal meaning is “burnt faces.” There is no consistent logic for the formation of nation states anywhere except perhaps wars and conquests and recon quests as common denominators.

      In Africa, a group of white Europeans sat down in Berlin in 1884 and drew up the lines. No regard for ethnicity, religion or existing and evolving trajectories of African communities. Africans were invisible from the consideration of Europeans. Ethnic communities were and are divided by international borders to this day. The objective of the Berlin meeting was to avoid war among themselves in sharing the resources of Africa, which they saw as a “magnificent cake.” The Germans were especially keen to get a portion of this cake. As late comers to the colonial enterprise, they felt left out. As it turned out, war was not prevented. Some historians attribute WW1 to German resentment of feeling left out.

      So please don’t put special conditions on Eritreans for choosing to remain a political community. We have not been lucky to enshrine our community with a constitution that everyone can live with. But that is for us Eritreans to fix. We went through a difficult struggle to achieve statehood that many countries in Africa took for granted. Some attained it without much violence. For others, it was violent and protracted.

      Our location by the Red Sea made us a focus of unwelcome attention by the powers that be. Aklilu and Haile Selassie were clever enough to exploit this international intrigue. I have thought that Mengistu’s execution of Aklilu was a tremendous waste for Ethiopia. It showed how petty and ignorant Mengistu was. Aklilu was a brilliant manipulator who saw an opportunity and used it masterfully. He fell for a street thug.

      Aklilu more than any other Ethiopian made the Eritrean road to independence difficult and bitter for complicated geopolitical reasons. Aklilu used the geopolitical game to Ethiopia’s advantage. That doesn’t mean our claim to be a political community was any less valid. Namibia was gobbled by South Africa after the German defeat in WW1. It managed to eventually become independent.
      Western Sahara was gobbled by Morocco and Mauritania after Spanish colonialism. To this day their struggle continues against Morocco. There are other examples in Asia and Latin America somewhat similar to Eritrea. So what is alien about Eritrean claim to statehood? If you are genuinely unaware, please read some history while trying to avoid the fable and mythology.

  • Adulis November 29, 2014

    “If Isaias leaves, the three provinces will eat each other.” Namely, hamasen, akelguzay and seraye.
    Nebila was right. The other provences were not taken into consideration. They are marginalized provinces. They have no voice. That means they are secondary citizens. If any province of these marginalized provinces demands its right, it will be automatically branded as islamawiyan. So, the only rivals left on the ground are the three afore-mentioned provinces. Who do ypu think be the winner? No province. The only winner in this game is isaias. Long live wedi Afom. Thank you for deflating the overinflated tires. People These three provinces were overflow”If Isaias leaves, the three provinces will eat each other.” Namely, hamasen, akelguzay and seraye.
    Nebila was right. The other provences were not taken into consideration. They are marginalized provinces. They have no voice. That means they are citizens of secondary rate. If any province of these marginalized provinces demands its right, it will be automatically branded as islamawiyan. So, the only rivals left on the ground are the three afore-mentioned provinces. Who do ypu think be the winner? No province. The only winner in this game is isaias. Long live wedi Afom. Thank you for deflating the overinflated tires. People of these three provinces were overflowing with empty chauvinism.

  • anedo November 30, 2014

    Thankyou Yemane for your great interview so as assena & staffs. Now I hope the next interview will be with mesfun hagos, or muhyedin shengeb or Ali abdu

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