No war feed the people in Eritrea 

Wednesday, 29 July 2020 22:37 Written by

Where on Earth does a child sell cigarettes and other small items to earn few cents to help his family locked-down at home except in Eritrea? 

Child selling cigarettes Asmara

By Petros Tesfagiorgis

The Eritrean government is beating the drums of war against the TPLF/Tigray in collusion with PM Abiy Ahmed whilst the Eritrean people suffer from food and water shortages. This is a gravely irresponsible move that shows the Government is not concerned about the life of the Eritrean people.  It is time to rise up against this blatant disregard for human life and say loud and clear “No War Feed the People”. The Eritrean people have been yearning for peace and justice for close to six decades but instead have gone from a thirty-year independence struggle to a twenty-nine-year dictatorship that refuses to hear the concerns and cries of the people.

There are growing concerns over an impending famine as alarming reports of food shortages have been reported from various regions of Eritrea. People are crying for help; many are bombarding their relatives in the diaspora to send money for basic food rations. At the time of my posting there was news by J- studio of the burials held in Church compounds of children who had died as a result of hunger and malnutrition in the highlands of Eritrea. This should serve as a warning bell that unless the people have access to food the world will see another famine on the level of Yemen. As an attempt to cover up the dire situation and suffering of the Eritrean people from the international community the regime has refused to grant access for a visit by the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights; Ms. Daniela Kravetz.

Today, as the global community is at war with the invisible enemy that is Covid-19, people in impoverished countries like Eritrea lack the food, personal protection equipment (PPE) and health services needed to stop the spread of the virus. This was acknowledged globally and wealthier countries have agreed to provide support to developing nations. For example, the EU has pledged to provide assistance worth more than €15.6 billion for countries across Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Balkan region to fight the corona-virus pandemic, of which €3.25 billion is to be channelled to Africa, including €1.19 billion for the Northern African neighbourhood countries.

 What is happening in Eritrea?

  1. During the lock down period, the Eritrean regime has not provided food and other necessities to the people   Guidelines are strictly enforced, and people who attempt to leave their homes in search of food are assaulted by the armed forces. As a consequence, the population who are already living below the poverty line are starving and looking outward for help.
  2. Life in prisons: Amnesty International has reported that due to overcrowding, poor healthcare, lack of sanitation and hygiene options the thousands of Eritreans in official and unofficial prisons are left defenceless against COVID-19.
  3. The Afar Eritreans that inhabit the Southern Red Sea survive on fishing, trade and farming and all have been banned resulting in severe malnutrition.  In the Western Lowlands in Haicota and surrounding areas children are dying from starvation.
  4. The UN called on Eritrea to free political and low –risk offenders to reduce the threat of COVID-19 in crowded jails. The regime refused and the UN has maintained its silence.
  5. The regime closed 27 health centres run by the Roman Catholic Church in 2019. The consequences have opened a big hole in the nation’s health system.   I quote from Paolo Lambruschi Friday 5 June 2020   Source: L’ Avvenier: – “In the region inhabited by the people of Afar, 30-year-old Halima Mohammed died in the Badda crater area on Sunday.  The pregnant woman passed away bleeding on Sunday 31 May 2020 for lack of medical assistance. Many other women and children may have died of starvation and disease in silence in the area where only 20% have water and electricity.

The regime in Eritrea refuses help from the International Community: Why? 

The United Arab Emirates has been providing food and medical aid to several countries affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and commanders at its Eritrean base in the port of Assab/Red Sea, offered to donate aid to the local population the Afar people. The proposal was turned down in no uncertain terms by the Governor, General Teklai Kifle. Eritrea is completely militarized. There is no space for civil societies to express their pains and sufferings.

A plane full of Covid-19 supplies donated by the Chinese billionaire Jack Ma and his Alibaba Group was refused landing in Asmara Airport and returned back to its base in Addis Ababa.

The Exposure: What the Eritrean regime has failed to understand is that the phenomenon of Covid-19 has exposed Isaias’s brinkmanship of exploiting events to oppress the people of Eritrea.  Thus the regime in Eritrea has politicized the virus phenomenon and opted to use it as a weapon to starve the people and weaken their resolve to demand the end of repression and oppose his damaging interference in the internal affairs of Ethiopia.

The people are not challenging the power of Isaias.  Why wage war by denying them access to food.

The people of Eritrea were jubilant when peace with Ethiopia was signed in July 2018. They believed there would no longer be reason to hold the youth hostage in army garrisons and that this peace deal would end the Human right violations across the country. However, their dreams have been shattered with the continuation of unabated repression.  Isaias has squandered the best moment ever to make genuine peace with Ethiopia and above all with his own people by ending the gross human rights violations and the ‘No war, No peace’ scenario that devastating Eritrea economically and socially since 2002. Isaias has become corrupted by power; he cannot be redeemed. As the saying goes “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.  He is indifferent to the pains and suffering he is inflicting on the people. Belatedly the two donors the UN and EU have come to understand that Isaias is incapable of ending repression. It is appalling to see the Eritrean Government represent the people of Eritrea – in any UN meetings.  – Because in practice he is at war with the people. The representative of the regime participated during 44th session of the Human Rights commission their mission is to hide the shortage of food and to lobby that the mission of the Special rapporteur is ended. It is not ended but they want let her visit Eritrea.  Not refuse to let her visit Eritrea. The question of children dying of starvation is not raised because there is no body to raise it. The victims have no voice. The issue which is threatening the life of the people of Eritrea is not raised. The starvation is preventable but the UN and EU failed to listen to the plight of the people.   That is why those of us from UK, Germany and Holland who participated during the virtual meeting on Eritrea in German on 25/6/2020 have agreed to take the starvation case with EU and then with UN.

Today Dictator Isaias is naked, he has no clothes. He is totally exposed. The EU and UN policy of engagement with the regime have failed. The EU and UN aid funds for development in order to create jobs, improve the HR violations and to stop the flow of refugees to exile has not been successful.

We, the just seekers, have to exploit the present reality and engage in rigorous advocacy campaigns to solicit food to the people.

Furthermore, the UN allowed Eritrea, to become a member of the human rights commission in order to appease PIA and his new ally PM Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia. This is a blunder, a mistake of historical proportion.  The UN learned this truth belatedly.  But would they accept their mistakes and pay back to the people of Eritrea by convincing the regime stops starving the people or threaten the regime to revive the issue of “bring the regime to ICC for the crime against humanity the regime committed in Eritrea since 1991.

During the meeting of the 44th session of the Human Rights commission –The Special Rapporteur said she has seen no evidence of a tangible improvement in the human rights situation in the country. She remains deeply concerned by widespread human rights violations. Representatives of countries expressed their concern about the violations and 35 of them voted to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur to one more year. This shows how much they resent the regime.

All this has created a conducive environment for justice seeker to act now.  On 25 June 2020 there was virtual intergroup discussion on Eritrea in the German Parliament, BundestagIn conclusion Cooperation with the wider Eritrean democracy movements was recommended.

In America, Michael Rubin wrote “The time is now for U.S. officials to reach out to Eritreans, both inside the country and out, and put plans in place to help build the institutions Isaias Afwerki has left weakened or destroyed.

These are signs that the international community have given up on Isaias and the justice seekers in Diaspora can seize the momentum to engage in a rigorous advocacy campaign.

This change has brought about a conducive environment to contact those who have expressed solidarity with the oppressed people of Eritrea and who are willing to support our activities.  We, Eritreans who participated in the conference -did not waste any time and agreed to get together and talk about how to exploit this international solidarity. We were from 3 European Countries and are members of active organisations. We agreed to work together to raise the issue of food shortage with the UN and EU. The names are Mr Muluberhan Temelso, the Director General of the Foundation of Human Rights for Eritreans/ the Netherlands. The foundation filed a complaint against the European Commission in court for using unpaid labour from the national service.  Dr Awet Kessete and his colleague Mr Temelso Gebresus are from the Eritrean Associations for Democracy/Germany and myself a member of Eritrea Focus UK.

It is important at this stage to think about launching peace movement as the slogan goes “No war feed the people”.  To make our peace effort “pro-active”. No Tigreans blood should be spilled by Eritreans and vice versa. Also no blood of other nationalities in Ethiopia.  War brings more deaths and destruction. We the people of the horn can live in peace and harmony. Fighting against each other is an invitation for proxy wars.

The End

At the moment Eritrea Focus have launched an appeal – to the UN secretary general to solve the food problem.

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Eritrea’s president visited Cairo against the backdrop of the faltering talks on the Nile dam dispute, raising questions about Eritrea’s role in helping reach an agreement between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan.

al-monitor A general view of the Blue Nile River as it passes through the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, near Guba, Ethiopia, Dec. 26, 2019. Photo by EDUARDO SOTERAS/AFP via Getty Images.
Ayah Aman

Ayah Aman



Water Issues

Jul 17, 2020

CAIRO — During his two-day visit to Cairo on July 6-7, Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki held bilateral talks with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, focusing on the dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and security in the Red Sea, with the aim to support regional security and stability, spokesman for the Egyptian presidency Bassam Radi said.

This is the fifth visit Afwerki has paid to Cairo since Sisi took office in 2014. This time, however, his visit came as Egypt failed to reach a binding agreement with Ethiopia on the filling and operation of the GERD, which Cairo believes will damage its interests in the Nile waters.

Afwerki had previously visited Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on May 2, and Khartoum, Sudan, on June 25. Observers believe that such visits are part of Eritrea's mediation efforts to resolve the dispute between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan.

The Egyptian-Eritrean rapprochement over the decades has always been a source of trouble for Ethiopia, which has repeatedly accused Egypt of using Eritrea as a pressure card and of destabilizing the situation in Ethiopia. This rapprochement has also furthered the Eritrean-Ethiopian conflict that dates to the Eritrean War of Independence in the 1990s, while the situation of “no war, no peace” between the two countries has constantly fueled regional tension in past years. 

The historic conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea ended after the two parties signed a peace agreement in July 2018; as a result, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October 2019. 

Yet, following Afwerki’s visit to Cairo, the Eritrean Ministry of Information said July 11 that the peace agreement with Ethiopia had not met Eritrea’s expectations. The ministry added in a statement on its website, “Two years after the signing of the Peace Agreement, Ethiopian troops continue to be present in our sovereign territories. … Trade and economic ties of both countries have not resumed to the desired extent or scale.”

In this context, a diplomatic official specialized in African affairs told Al-Monitor, “Cairo is open to all regional and international initiatives designed to resolve the dispute over the GERD. Egypt and Eritrea have common interests that are not limited to bilateral files. There is ongoing coordination in handling the regional dossiers in the Red Sea region on the one hand, and the relations with Ethiopia on the other.”

Speaking to Al-Monitor on the role Eritrea can play in the conflict between Cairo and Addis Ababa over the GERD, Hamdy Abdel Rahman Hassan, a professor of political sciences at Cairo University, said, “Under the rule of Afwerki, Eritrea [became] a key actor in the power equation in the Horn of Africa given its important geostrategic position. President Afwerki is able to act at the foreign level and exploit the [disputes] to his own interests.”

Abdel Rahman Hassan added, “Eritrea’s president already announced his position on the GERD in 2016. He believes that the dam exceeds the development needs of Ethiopia. There are multiple signs indicating that the Eritrean position is in favor of Egypt, particularly after the tripartite negotiations [on the dam] have come to a crossroad.”

Since he took office in April 2018, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been seeking to resolve his country’s disputes with Eritrea and Somalia. Yet the tension and domestic challenges have prevented a genuine implementation of the rapprochement policies.

“Eritrea has been reluctant to rely on him [Ahmed] in light of the unstable domestic situation in Ethiopia, while Ethiopian forces continue to occupy the disputed areas,” Abdel Rahman Hassan said.

He noted, “Eritrea’s geographical location and relations with the Gulf countries — especially Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — can serve as strategic support for Egypt, particularly in case of escalation.”

Speaking to Al-Monitor, Eritrea’s Ambassador to Cairo Fasil Gebreselasie denied that Sisi and Afwerki touched on the aspects of military cooperation when it comes to the GERD crisis. He said, “There is focus on enhancing cooperation and coordination in handling the regional security and economic files.”

He added, “President Afwerki offered what’s within Eritrea’s ability to resolve the dispute over the GERD.” However, he refused to give details on the Eritrean initiative.

Suleiman Hassan, an Eritrean political analyst and expert on African affairs, told Al-Monitor, “The Eritrean president is aware of the nature and complexities of the political stage in Ethiopia, as well as of the stalled talks on the GERD. He can play an important role in bringing closer the views of the political regimes in Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan in order for them to overcome the differences.”

Hassan added, “The Ethiopian opposition — which supports the former regime that belongs to the Tigrayan ethnic group, and which was the source of historical enmity with Eritrea — has used Ahmed’s policies of rapprochement with Egypt to oppose him. This will make it difficult for the current [Ethiopian] political regime to strike an agreement with Egypt on the GERD.”

However, it is in Eritrea’s interests to mediate the GERD dispute, according to Suleiman, who explained, “Eritrea is well aware that the return of the former regime to the rule in Ethiopia is not in its [Eritrea’s] interest. This is especially true in light of attempts to push Ethiopia and Eritrea into military skirmishes on the border, like what happened with Sudan in March.”

“Any Egyptian-Ethiopian interim agreement on the GERD that serves domestic peace and stabilization in Ethiopia will have a positive impact on Eritrea's interest,” he added.

The success of the mediation efforts led by Eritrea or the African Union to resolve the Nile dam dispute still depend on the Ethiopian current political regime’s ability to adopt a clear position and control the volatile situation — and this without using the GERD’s dossier to gain popularity and confront the opposition campaigns that believe any agreement on the GERD with Egypt goes against Ethiopia’s interests.

Read more:


Eritrea: The Stench in Asmara City Center

Monday, 27 July 2020 13:36 Written by

Taking a ‘passeggiata’ in Asmara these days exhibits a unique experience - that the city is dogged by misfortunes. 

A ‘passeggiata’ is an Italian expression which mostly refers to the late afternoon walks Asmarinos dutifully used to take in their beloved city center.  One would see groups of elderly people taking leisurely walks under the big palm trees. They would occasionally stop to greet acquaintances and have a chat with friends.  Others would stop at bars for a drink before heading home.  One could also see boisterous boys out there who would come out in droves to have fun while young girls would also enjoy the walk arm in arm.  

Asmara in 1960

Now the ‘passeggiata’, according to travellers’ stories, belongs to days gone by.

Michela Wrong, in her book ‘I didn’t do for you’, described Asmara as a special place time had forgotten.  She writes:

“ … the Italian architects of the 1930s unleashed the full, incongruous force of their Modernistic creativity.”

The author describes Asmara as a city ‘whose beauty has a sombre tinge, for it has been premised on tragedy’.   She then goes on to write how ‘conflict kept Asmara locked in time, creating in the process an accidental architectural treasure’. 

Ms Wrong doesn’t stop there; she adds that ‘these days, the vigorous designs have lost their clean-cut certainty’.  It is true the once-lauded, fine Italian-era buildings are ruined and rundown, and have not been renovated for years.

Those paragraphs were written after the Badme war – early 2000s. One cannot help but wonder how the author would have reacted had she had the opportunity to re-visit Asmara once again.   

Fast-forwarding to 2020, Asmara can hardly be described by kind and endearing expressions for it has lost its lustre and almost all the qualities it used to possess.  In simple terms, Asmara is no more.

Travellers’ Stories

Due to loss of interest and unscrupulous nature of the government, Eritreans do not visit Asmara as much as they used to.  Visits to Asmara generate unnecessary misgivings and frustrations for the visitors.  Asmara is under paralyzing bureaucratic control which has made the city unfit to receive visitors.

One visitor described Asmara as a ghost town. ‘It is a town devoid of young people and entertainment’, he said. He also said it is ‘a depressed town that has nothing to offer to visitors anymore’.

A lady who was born and raised in Asmara said ‘Asmara is just a notion in my head because it has lost the glow it once had when I was growing up there’.   ‘The inhabitants seem resigned and drifting aimlessly’, she added.
Asmara public toilets closed

A third traveller talked about the stench in city center.  For reasons unknown, the municipality shut down all the public latrines that were located throughout the city.   ‘Now’, he said, ‘people are seen relieving themselves everywhere in full view.  One cannot pass alongside the back entrance of the famous Asmara Cathedral’. 

Indeed, people are seen covering their noses when they pass through the side street next to the building of ‘Education Center’ – the stairs that lead to the former Italian school. 

In the evening the situation is even worse.  People, who need badly to relieve themselves, with no bathroom in sight, simply let themselves go everywhere.

It is strange to witness some PFDJ operatives are continually projecting Asmara as a clean, efficient city that is worth visiting.  The truth is Asmara does not have functional public bathrooms anymore, to say the least.  Sickeningly, modern dwellings do not have enough water to flush the toilets. In short, Asmara can be described as a big rural village without proper sanitation.

Mai Jah Jah

There is no adequate water in the city. It suffices to see recent pictures of ‘Mai Jah-Jah’, once with a beautiful cascading water feature, now filled with refuse.

Yes, it is strange to read government publicities that state “Renovation of public toilets are underway in Asmara” ( The story even produces names of Asmara residents who express ‘satisfaction with the government initiative taken to renovate the community facilities’.  

Shabait: Renovation of public toilets

As Eric Hoffer, American moral and social philosopher put is, Propaganda does not deceive people; it merely helps them to deceive themselves.

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JULY 24, 2020  NEWS

Source: Ezega News

By Staff Reporter

Debretsion-electionsJuly 21, 2020 ( — The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) accused the Eritrean government of joining forces with Addis Ababa and regional government to disrupt the planned elections in Tigray region next August.

Briefing Journalists on Monday, TPLF chairman and deputy president of the Tigray region, Debretsion Gebremichael said TPLF witnessed provocation from the federal government of Ethiopia to “disrupt the election,” and called on the people in the region to stand united and repel possible attacks.

“Tigray region will be a burial ground for those forces which are attempting to obstruct the election,” Debretsion warned.

According to the TPLF chair, there have been noticeable activities “near the region’s border and bordering areas” that are intended to impede the election.

“Armed men are roaming in border areas and trying to mobilize the public to boycott the election,” he added.

“Tigray region will conduct the elections as per the schedule by taking experiences from countries that conducted elections amid coronavirus infections,” Debretsion said.

Debretsion also blamed the federal government of conspiring economic sabotage against the Tigray region by blocking roads linking to other regions and disrupting the teaching and learning process by shutting down internet connections.

Debretsion made the statement after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed paid a visit to Asmara where he also visited Sawa, the country’s main military training ground.

Yemane Geberemeskel, Eritrea’s Information Minister, tweeted that the leaders reviewed the progress achieved and obstacles encountered in the past two years in the implementation of the historic peace deal in July 2018.

“The two sides agreed to further bolster the prevailing, all-rounded, cooperation between the two countries,” said Yemane in a statement posted.

Addressing the parliament, Prime Minister Abiy warned his government will not tolerate any attempt to conduct an election in any part of Ethiopia.

Debretsion said business establishments owned by ethnic Tigray investors are being attacked as the government continues firing several ethnic Tigray people who were working in federal offices.

The deputy president also accused Addis Ababa of detaining officials of the Tigray region and shutting down Tigray TV and  Demtse Weyane TV.

Earlier, the federal police arrested TPLF members including Tewolde Debretsadik, Atsbeha Alemayehu and Tesfalem Yidego, Law and Justice Research Center Director in the rank of State Minister for alleged transferring of national affairs for foreign terrorists.

This is the Prime Minister’s statement. These are the key sentences:

“The Extraordinary Meeting undertaken at the Heads of State and Government level concluded with all parties reaching a major common understanding which paves the way for a breakthrough agreement. Accordingly, Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan agreed for further technical discussions on the filling to continue in the AU led process and proceed to a comprehensive agreement.”

Screenshot 2020-07-21 at 18.18.59


There is a pattern to Eritrean diplomacy

Sometimes months pass and little happens. President Isaias sits by his dam, contemplating and scheming. At others there is a blizzard of activity.

We seem to be in in one of the latter patterns.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy in his latest visit to Eritrea inspected the graduation-parade rehearsals at Sawa for the 33rd Round of the National Service conscripts.

Sawa is the center for military training for Eritrea’s National Service and is normally closed to outside visitors.

Abiy Ahmed Sawa 19 July 2020

It came at the end of a two-day visit that concluded with the usual bland and uninformative statement.

“In their extensive discussion, President Isaias Afwerki and Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed reviewed the progress achieved and obstacles encountered in the past two years in the implementation of the historic Declaration of Peace and Friendship agreement signed between the two countries in July 2018.

The two sides agreed to further bolster the prevailing, all-rounded, cooperation between the two countries. They also agreed to work together to enhance regional cooperation in the Horn of Africa firmly aware that this is pivotal for nurturing robust ties anchored on mutual complementarity.”

It has been remarked upon that unlike previous trips, this one was handled entirely by the Eritreans.

  • In the past Prime Minister Abiy announced publicly, via press releases and twitter, that his trips to Eritrea were taking place and allowed the Ethiopian media to accompany him.
  • No such announcement was made by the Prime Minister’s office prior to this trip.
  • All information about the visit  was released by Eritrean Minister of Information.
Both leaders had their wives with them. Isaias had his son Abraham with him, who now appears to accompanying his father everywhere.

No sooner than this trip was over than a high-level delegation arrived in Sudan. It was led by Eritrean Chief of Staff, General Filipos Weldeyohanes, and including Eritrea’s National Security Director, Abraha Kasa, and the Commander of the Eritrean Navy, Admiral Humed “Karikare.”

Gen Philipos (front left) in Sudan with delegation 19 July 2020

So what’s under way?

These visits come after President Isaias spent two days earlier this month in Cairo, meeting President al-Sisi.

Al-Monitor helpfully pointed out that it was President Isaias’s fifth visit to Egypt since Sisi came to power in 2014. Isaias had previously visited Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on May 2, and Khartoum, Sudan, on June 25.

Al-Monitor, which is based in Washington and generally well informed, went on to suggest that the main issue under discussion was Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam in the Nile, which is keeping Egyptians up at night worried that their water supplies will be interrupted.

Quoting an unnamed diplomat, Al-Monitor said:

“Cairo is open to all regional and international initiatives designed to resolve the dispute over the GERD. Egypt and Eritrea have common interests that are not limited to bilateral files. There is ongoing coordination in handling the regional dossiers in the Red Sea region on the one hand, and the relations with Ethiopia on the other.”

‘Speaking to Al-Monitor on the role Eritrea can play in the conflict between Cairo and Addis Ababa over the GERD, Hamdy Abdel Rahman Hassan, a professor of political sciences at Cairo University, said, “Under the rule of Afwerki, Eritrea [became] a key actor in the power equation in the Horn of Africa given its important geostrategic position. President Afwerki is able to act at the foreign level and exploit the [disputes] to his own interests.”

‘Abdel Rahman Hassan added, “Eritrea’s president already announced his position on the GERD in 2016. He believes that the dam exceeds the development needs of Ethiopia. There are multiple signs indicating that the Eritrean position is in favor of Egypt, particularly after the tripartite negotiations [on the dam] have come to a crossroad.”’

A threat to peace?

In another article, Al-Monitor looked back an earlier report they published.

‘“For Egypt, the matter of the Nile is a matter of life and death,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said in an exclusive interview with Al-Monitor in September 2019, adding, “I don’t think anybody would agree that Ethiopian development should come at the expense of the lives of Egyptians.”

Those are the stakes, as Egypt, sees it, if Ethiopia ignores Cairo’s appeals to hold off on filling the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) before an agreement is reached on how the Nile’s waters should be shared among Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan.

After the collapse of the latest round of talks, brokered by South Africa and mediated by the African Union, the diplomatic thread is running out, and while armed conflict seems a remote possibility, it can’t be dismissed, either.

After the collapse of the talks, Shoukry said, “Any serious harm caused by the Renaissance Dam to the water security of Egypt and Egyptians is a red line, and Egypt and its apparatuses cannot stand idly by without responding to the damage caused.”’

The suggestion that President Isaias might use his diplomatic skills to bring Egypt and Ethiopia together where President Trump, the UN Security Council and the African Union have failed may seem faintly absurd. But President Isaias is well placed as a friend of both governments, and in this world nothing should be ruled out.

A common enemy: Tigray

If there is one issue that unites Isaias and Abiy it is Tigray’s TPLF. about which they are both almost pathologically obsessive making little or no effort to hold any serious discussions or dialogue.

The TPLF, which is concerned over the future of federalism in Ethiopia in the face of the Prime Minister’s drive to centralise the Ethiopian state, is a thorn in Abiy’s side. Isaias has long regarded the Tigrayans as his predominant enemies.

Prime Minister Abiy postponed Ethiopian elections, saying that Covid-19 made it impossible to hold them in August 2020. The decision was rejected by some Ethiopians, including the Tigrayans, who described it as illegal. TPLF threatened to hold their own elections in the Tigray region in August and has now elected an election commissioner.

Screenshot 2020-07-21 at 08.09.47

The Ethiopian Prime Minister fears that the Tigrayans are moving towards a de-facto independent state. The Tigrayans have repeatedly acted to prevent Ethiopian military equipment including heavy artillery and weapons to be moved from the border with Eritrea.

Screenshot 2020-07-21 at 11.15.58

This was reported more than a year ago.

“Tigray region residents in northern Ethiopia have blocked military trucks withdrawing from the border with Eritrea. Angry youth in the region questioned the movement of troops saying they need clarity about regional security once the military leaves.

They blocked the military trucks from leaving Shire and Zalambessa areas where they had been stationed. It is the second time they have prevented the armoured military vehicles from leaving the border areas.

Ethiopia announced last month, it had started withdrawing its troops from disputed territories along the border with Eritrea as part of the peace deal signed in July between the two countries.”

The suggestion that President Isaias was looking for a final knock-out blow against the TPLF is not new. It was made by an Ethiopian analyst earlier this year.

As Naty Berhane Yifru put it: “Should such tit-for-tat between TPLF and Isaias continue, we may be in for another devastating cycle of conflict, or even possibly the disintegration of Ethiopia. Nobel Peace Prize or not, Abiy’s inability to correctly choose between protecting a region of his own country or cuddling a newfound foreign friend, known the world over for his cruelty against his own people, may cost him dearly.”

These are high stakes indeed. There is no proof that another conflict across the Mereb river is looming, but if there was to be a war between Eritrea and Tigray, any government in Addis Ababa would want to ensure that Sudan would remain neutral. It was the use of Sudan as a rear base that allowed the TPLF to conduct its highly effective war against the forces of the Ethiopian Dergue. May this explain President Isaias’s decision to send such a high-level military delegation to Khartoum?

All this comes as Prime Minister Abiy wrestles with forces that are resisting his attempts to present himself in the traditional Ethiopian role: as a strong-man, who centralises the state authority. Hence his arrest of at least 5,000 of his opponents.  Some are Oromo and some Amhara.

This is a struggle Abiy cannot afford to lose.

In the circumstances, is it fanciful to suggest Isaias and Abiy might be working together to rid themselves of a common enemy, the TPLF, with the support of both Sudan and Egypt? Was the Ethiopian Prime Minister’s visit to Sawa) a pre-cursor for such an offensive, with Sudan agreeing to stand aside and not allow the Tigrayans to use their territory as a rear-base? (Tigray has a border with Sudan).

The price for Abiy might include an agreement with Egypt and Sudan over the filling and operation of GERD, where there are other options still in play – the African Union is due to hold another meeting to discuss the impasse.

A lot of uncertainty, with a rapidly developing situation, but enough to concern anyone who believes in the necessity for continued peace in the region.

Why Nothing Is Simple Around a Narcissist

Sunday, 19 July 2020 19:24 Written by
Home » Blog » Personality » 

Why Nothing Is Simple Around a Narcissist

When you spend time with narcissists, things rarely seem simple. Everything’s difficult to coordinate and arrange. And nothing seems to go smoothly.

In group settings, narcissists like to dominate proceedings. Making it difficult to reach a group compromise. And there’s often drama and conflict. In short, narcissists bring chaos whenever they’re around.

Here’s some of the reasons why nothing seems simple around narcissists…

They Don’t Go with the Flow

Narcissists don’t go with the flow. They lack empathy. So they don’t take into consideration the general consensus of people who are around them.

Most people feel a general vibe for what everyone wants, and makes compromises based on that. This leads to harmony in group settings. But narcissists don’t do this. They can’t. So they focus on what they want. Unless they’re trying to impress someone else.

This leads to difficulty making group decisions. And resentment from the narcissist if they don’t get their way. Or resentment from others who see the narcissist as getting their way too often.

Push Away Their Responsibilities

Narcissists HATE responsibility. They consider routine chores beneath them. Also responsibility is a chance for them to make mistakes. Narcissists like to think of themselves as perfect. So they don’t want to put themselves in positions where they might slip up. Because that would challenge their delusions of perfection.

Instead of doing what’s needed, they find ways to push their responsibilities onto others. That way they’re free to do what they please, and pass blame if things go wrong.

A narcissist might ignore their responsibilities, even when this causes problems. Then hope you step in to save the day. Once you’ve done this a few times, this becomes your role. And if you try to discuss why it’s their responsibility, you’re often faced with these issues…

Avoid Discussing Problems

When problems arise, most adults discuss them, and come to a resolution. But when discussing them with narcissists, you find yourself getting nowhere.

They may change the subject. Blame you. Or antagonize you into a messy argument. They do everything they can to avoid the real issue. So nothing gets resolved. Even when you’re being calm and rational.

Narcissists harbor delusions of being perfect. So they fight hard to avoid conversations that might reveal they’re not. They don’t want to be accountable for their actions. So they avoid the real issues. It’s frustrating when they keep avoiding discussions, when you just seek a simple solution.

They Have Hidden Agendas

Narcissists usually have hidden agendas that nobody else is aware of. And they’re often more focussed on their hidden agendas than the matters at hand. This leads them to make some seemingly strange choices. 

Their hidden agendas could be absolutely anything. It might be to discredit someone they’re jealous of. To control the group, to feed their delusions of superiority. Or to persuade everyone to go somewhere they know an ex will be. Just to annoy them.

Narcissists often don’t make sense to those around them. But they fight hard to get their way. Which leads to all sorts of complications.

Don’t Want Peace and Harmony

Most people want things to go smoothly. And they want peace and harmony. But narcissists get bored of this.

Narcissists sometimes deliberately cause trouble to create chaos. They might wind someone up over something they’re sensitive about. Or stir trouble between other people, and sit back and watch the drama unfold. 

Narcissists love drama. And making things messy and toxic distracts from their own messy and toxic behaviors.

Equate Complication with Intelligence

Narcissists like to deliberately complicate matters. Because they think complication means intelligence. So they might use deliberately complicated language, when simple explanations will do.

Narcissists aren’t always interested in communicating a message. They want to impress. So they sometimes go around the houses when explaining things. Just to make it seem more complicated than it really is. And them more intelligent.

Some narcissists like to complicate things for manipulation purposes. They know that if people are confused, they’re more likely to agree, allowing them to control situations.

They Like Changing Plans Last Minute

Many narcissists like to change plans last minute. This is to establish control over the situation.

What would have been well organized plan can descend into chaos. As their last minute changes create uncertainty, which throws plans into turmoil. 

Whilst the dust is settling, and people are trying to work out what’s going on, the narcissist takes control. And changes things to suit their own needs and agendas.

Often Late

Narcissists are often late. Again this is a control tactic. Turning up late is a subtle statement, saying you don’t matter. Everyone must wait for them to make their grand entrance. 

Narcissists don’t care how their lateness affects others. In their mind they’re important, so everybody should wait until they decide to arrive.

Some narcissists arrive late and in a bad mood. This is to push everyone on the back foot, so they tip-toe around the narcissist and don’t question their lateness.

Final Thoughts

Narcissists lack empathy. So they struggle thinking of others needs. And they are exploitative. So they play various tricks to get what they can from situations.

You’re innocently co-ordinating your efforts with them and everybody else, trying to reach harmony. Whilst they’re plotting how to gain as much as they can for themselves.

Narcissists aren’t team players. They’re chaotic people who are out for themselves. And they bring their chaos into other people’s lives. 

Nothing is simple around narcissists. Because they try to bend the world to their will. Which requires a lot of scheming, manipulation, and conflict. Which is never straightforward and simple.



JULY 16, 2020  NEWS

The UN Human Rights Council has called for the re-appointment of the Special Rapporteur, as well as welcoming her report and conclusions.

This was part of what she had to say: “Two years on from the peace deal between Eritrea and Ethiopia, the dividends of peace have yet to materialize for the Eritrean people. While Eritrea is engaging more actively in the international and regional scenes, the Eritrean authorities have yet to implement much-needed human rights reforms and open civic space in the country. The changes in regional dynamics have failed to translate into concrete and sustainable progress in human rights in Eritrea.”

Source: United Nations

United Nations A/HRC/44/L.8
General Assembly Distr.: Limited

13 July 2020

Original: English

Human Rights Council

Forty-fourth session

30 June–17 July 2020

Agenda item 2

Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner
for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the
High Commissioner and the Secretary-General

                   Australia, Austria, Belgium,* Bulgaria, Canada,* Croatia,* Cyprus,* Czechia, Denmark, Estonia,* Finland,* France,* Germany, Greece,* Iceland,* Ireland,* Italy, Latvia,* Liechtenstein,* Lithuania,* Luxembourg,* Malta,* Monaco,* Montenegro,* Netherlands, North Macedonia,* Norway,* Poland, Romania,* Slovakia, Slovenia,* Spain, Sweden* and Switzerland*: draft resolution

44/…   Situation of human rights in Eritrea

The Human Rights Council,

Guided by the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and other relevant international human rights instruments,

Recalling General Assembly resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006, Human Rights Council resolutions 5/1 and 5/2, both of 18 June 2007, resolution 91 and decisions 250/2002, 275/2003 and 428/12 of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and all previous Council resolutions on the situation of human rights in Eritrea,

Recalling also the important regional developments in recent years and the potential they bear for the development of human rights in Eritrea,

Welcoming the commitment of the Government of Eritrea to the Sustainable Development Goals, and its participation in the third cycle of the universal periodic review on 28 January 2019[1] and in the human rights dialogue with the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on 14 February 2020,[2]

Welcoming also the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea[3] and her conclusions,

  1. Requests the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to present an oral update to the Human Rights Council at its forty-sixth session on progress made in the cooperation between Eritrea and the Office of the High Commissioner, and its impact on the situation of human rights in Eritrea;
  2. Decides to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea for a further period of one year, and to continue to assess and report on the situation of human rights in follow-up to the report of the Special Rapporteur, and requests the Special Rapporteur to present an oral update to the Human Rights Council at its forty-sixth session during an interactive dialogue, and to present during an interactive dialogue a report on the implementation of the mandate to the Council at its forty-seventh session and to the General Assembly at its seventy-fifth session;
  3. Calls upon the Government of Eritrea to cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur, including by granting access to the country and committing to making progress on the proposed benchmarks;[4]
  4. Requests the Secretary-General to provide the Special Rapporteur with all the information and resources necessary to fulfil the mandate;
  5. Decides to remain seized of the matter.


                        *   State not a member of the Human Rights Council.

                        [1]   A/HRC/41/14.

                        [2]   See CEDAW/C/ERI/CO/6.

                        [3]   A/HRC/44/23.

                        [4]   A/HRC/41/53, paras. 75–81.

To their shame, a number of African nations abstained or voted against the UN Special Rapporteur being re-appointed.

Of course Eritrea was among them, but they include Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Cameroon, which voted no. Do the Sudanese and Somalis not care about the plight of their brothers and sisters in Eritrea?

Angola, Burkina Faso, the DR Congo, Mauritania, Togo, Senegal and Nigeria abstained.

Screenshot 2020-07-16 at 16.31.46

JULY 13, 2020  NEWS

Source: Human Rights Concern – Eritrea (HRCE)

What is happening in Eritrea during the COVID-19 outbreak? No one really knows. According to government “information”, the first case was confirmed on 21st March, and, to date, the total cases allegedly number 251, with no confirmed deaths. The world is used to hearing optimistic claims from Eritrean authorities, but very few experts trust their statistics, particularly regarding the absence of any Covid-related deaths. The government claims to have 41 quarantine centres, but has not disclosed their locations. The Minister of Health has not briefed the nation since the beginning of the pandemic, which hardly inspires confidence in the veracity and transparency of government information and policy.

The “Lockdown” period, initially announced to last for 21 days, has been extended indefinitely. It has now been more than three and half months since it was initially implemented.  “Lockdown” guidelines are strictly enforced, and people who attempt to leave their homes in search of food are assaulted by the armed forces. The Army and Police are dispatched to any place where citizens appear in public. This is one of the most extreme enforcement regimes in the world. Experience from other African countries suggests the negative effects of army mobilization. Information on the activities of the army in Eritrea is very scarce, as usual.

The Eritrean regime is forcibly collecting money from citizens inside Eritrea, supposedly to fight the virus. According to information from inside the country, this measure is not voluntary but by decree. But what is being done with this extorted money? There is supposedly a Covid-19 “Task Force”: but what is it doing? No-one has any evidence of its activities. What then is the role the government is playing? No one knows.

In the rest of the world, governments issue advice during lockdown, exhorting their citizens to “Stay Home; Stay Safe”. But how can Eritreans dependent on day labour stay home with no income and no food? Starvation and death await them if they adhere to such advice. The other advice during this worldwide pandemic is to “keep washing your hands with soap and water to avoid the virus”. How does an Eritrean without running water, and particularly in Asmara, faced with acute water shortages, implement such advice? Health services are hugely disrupted, and there is no effective medical care for children, the old, and pregnant mothers. Even greater difficulties face the estimated 10,000 prisoners of conscience incarcerated in filthy, unhygienic and overcrowded prisons, without proper washing or toilet facilities. “Maintain 2 (or 1) metres distance from other adults at all times,” we are exhorted across the world. But in Eritrean prisons, with 100 to 400 persons in a prison cell, and 20-30 crammed into a shipping metal container, how does anyone maintain social distancing and avoid infection?

Eritrea has no welfare system, and over 2 million people have no food to eat. Businesses are shut, all economic activity is ended, streets are locked-down, and unemployment, which was already high, is now universal. How are people to find food to eat? An exceedingly cruel and callous national policy of enforced hunger and starvation is being deliberately implemented.

We urge the international community to wake up to the gravity of what is happening in Eritrea; and to ask the Eritrean authorities the following:

  • If the government’s COVID-19 statistics are accurate, why is the nationwide lockdown still in place? Why are people being left to be starved and some dying from starvation? Why are the starving citizens not allowed to find work and food?
  • Why is the government not using some of the funds it received from foreign mining companies operating in Eritrea, which are kept in secret bank accounts abroad, to feed and heal the helpless in a hurting nation
  • Why is the government turning deaf ears and blind eyes to the suffering of its citizens?

The Eritrean government must also stop extorting money from desperate citizens inside the country, and release the 10,000 or more prisoners of conscience from over 350 prisons scattered across the country before mass infections and a plague of deaths occurs when Covid-19 sweeps through these detention centres.

The world must hold the Eritrean leader and his government accountable for allowing Eritrean people to die of starvation during a crisis worse than any other the world has faced.

Human Rights Concern – Eritrea (HRCE)



Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed delivers a speech at the House of Peoples' Representatives of Ethiopia on the current political and economic issues of the country on February 3, 2020, in Addis Ababa. PHOTO | MICHAEL TEWELDE | AFP


  • Two weeks ago, popular singer and activist Hachalu HundesSa was gunned down in Addis Ababa, sparking protests mainly in his native Oromia region.
  • The singer, popular in Ethiopia and the diaspora, became a leading activist for the Oromo, Ethiopia’s biggest ethnic group of about 40 million. No member of the community had tasted power till Abiy’s ascent.
  • Some of Abiy’s critics say he failed to read history where he would have learnt what to avoid.



Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is rarely described as a man under siege.

The first Oromo to become Prime Minister, he also became the first Ethiopian to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Those accolades came as Abiy attempted to reform the country’s political system, freed prisoners and allowed banned entities to operate freely. Two years later, his reformist credentials are facing uncertainty.

Two weeks ago, popular singer and activist Hachalu Hundesa was gunned down in Addis Ababa, sparking protests mainly in his native Oromia region.

Abiy’s office issued a lengthy statement on Friday, pledging to bring the musician’s killers to book, but chastised his opponents “for taking advantage of the incident to sow seeds of discord”.

There is an attempt to paint a wrong picture of the political situation by highlighting piecemeal information, with little effort to delve into what really happened,” Abiy’s office said.