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What time is it in Eritrea

Muriel in Asmara depicting the challenges Eritrea has faced in its modern history - the camel represents Eritrea overcoming these challenges -(Credit: DJ Adulis 'Chedo' Mokanan)

What time is it in Eritrea

By Amanuel Biedemariam,

A young Eritrean that was born in the US once said, “When I hear people call Eritrea a new nation, it startles me because I grew knowing Eritrea to be a nation.” Most Eritrean children that grew up in the US before independence have encountered people that told them Eritrea does not exist on the map. Their answers were always that Eritrea existed in their heart and they knew that she will be free.

The subtle way the West pulled Eritrea’s annexation left Eritreans empty handed without a country, under primitive tyranny of Ethiopia’s pseudo monarchy. In a flash, they defeated the surrendering Italian army led by British troops into Asmara Palace and not long-after, British soldiers and the US escorted Emperor Haile Selassie into Asmara with his wife and handed him a nation without having to lift a finger. Great Britain’s recently declassified World War II videos show this transaction clearly.

Eritreans who dreamt of independent Eritrea were forced to flee, killed or imprisoned. That in effect marked the start of the liberation struggle. Eritrea ceased to exist as a nation then. However, Eritrea was alive in the hearts and minds of Eritreans. Heart is the foundation of the Eritrean psyche, the place where Eritrea lives no matter where and it is where it all starts and still continues to date.

With nothing but determination, Eritreans embarked on a long and arduous journey to freedom. Without resources and military expertise Eritreans flocked to the field to fight against US funded Ethiopian troops. In no time, Eritrea managed to establish a full-fledged army that included tanks captured from enemy soldiers. Moreover, while the fighting was taking place, Eritreans were focused on reestablishing Eritrea after victory hence embarked on a nation building campaign.

First the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) and after the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) controlled Eritrea, the people of Eritrea accomplished the unthinkable, unimaginable and seemingly impossible fit. With principled approach to struggle, clear-aim stemming from the iron-willed Eritrean heart, by empowering Eritreans with education, by organizing, arming-them with everything they need to succeed as a unit and by Self Reliance Eritrea won.

The manner in which Eritrea came to life is a history that the Soviet Union, United States and their allies shun to talk or write because it highlights the defeat of their agendas. That also means given a choice these enemies would not have liked to see independent Eritrea.

In 1991, the US tried to block Eritrea’s independence but failed because Eritrea knew what to do and where to go. Eritrea took-out the system in Ethiopia and propelled the current regime, in a sense conducted a regime change; a first seamless transition conducted by an African nation, and ensured the signature that sealed independence. No African nation would admit that the current regime of Ethiopia is a byproduct of the struggle propelled to power by Eritrea.

Eritrea’s independence was significant historical event that reshaped the Horn of Africa’s geostrategic map. It came at a time when the Soviet Union fell and the US became the sole-superpower. The breakup of the USSR accorded the US opportunity to control the region. Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Kenya and Ethiopia became US client-states with Ethiopia as a hub. Eritrea was also a part of that equation.

After the Cold War, the US controlled the region by proxies. At the time the Clinton administration lauded these “new generation African leaders” including His Excellency President Isaias Afwerki as the hope for the future. That was short-lived because while the others kowtowed to US interests Eritrea forged independent path to the dismay of US marking new Era of US Eritrea relations. Eritrea was the only nation thus a spoiler of US hegemony. Cooperation, mutual interests-based bilateral relations with Eritrea would set a bad precedent; hence, a regime change policy was initiated against Eritrea.

The machinations to ensnare Eritrea under the pretext of border-war were initiated leading to countless death, loss of limbs and population displacement. Had they succeeded, Eritrea would have been soaked-in-blood for generations. Eritrea managed to foil all their sinister attempts. However, these machinations continued. The UN was manipulated to pass punitive measures that denied Eritrea her inalienable rights for self-defense with illegally manipulated and fabricated sanctions under the guise of “African nation’s initiative” when the actual violators were Ethiopia and the US that brazenly and violently invaded Somalia, a sovereign nation.

The levels of covert and overt activities on Eritrea remain relentless. All the defamatory campaigns and destabilizing activities against Eritrea trace their roots to Ethiopia and US. The US continues the assault with the youth as their key target. Recent State Department regarding Eritrean refugees from the Afar region indicate continuation of a hostile policy geared at encouraging youth flight. The regime change policy is still on play. US authorities are still trying to divide the people of Eritrea from the government.

In 2009, on Christmas Eve, when Ambassador Susan Rice boasted the sanction she placed upon the people of Eritrea, she said the US supports the people of Eritrea. In a similar Fashion, when Secretary John Kerry extended his warped independence letter in May of 2014, he also said the US stands with the people of Eritrea.

Although it is an open secret, why deny congratulations to the government that brought independence of Eritrea? That is duplicity and sign of continuation of the policy. Nothing in the history of the US demonstrates US support for the people of Eritrea. The fact that Secretary Kerry deliberately misrepresented Boston Marathon-winner Meb Kiflezgi’s identity by calling him Kenyan when he knows that Meb is Eritrean-American is evidence that they do not want to acknowledge Eritrea.

Cold War Part II

During the Cold War, due to the global-geopolitical juxtaposition, Eritrea was caught on a seesaw that affected her negatively. That ended at the time when Eritrea won independence and the fall of USSR.

Over the last two decades, the world witnessed the destruction of Iraq, Libya, Syria and unforeseen changes in many places such as Egypt. However, after 23 years of US adventurism, the world is experiencing yet another transition that will influence nations. The situation in Ukraine seems to be the game-changer having monumental impact on world politics.

When the US pressured Russia with swift actions including sanctions for Crimea, Russia and China lashed back in ways that changed the world. With a stroke of pen, China and Russia brought down-to-earth the notion of US as sole-super-power. By signing huge energy trade agreement, they invalidated the sanction threat and placed the EU-nations that supported the sanctions on a precarious position. Countries such as Germany were forced to retract, in a sense created a wedge between EU and the US.

The agreement is diminishing the role of the petro-dollar and re-establishing a new economic order that could counter US’s. The bilateral agreements will have implications on relations between nations, on the UN working-pecking-order, on the global economy, on previously US engineered-UN and other sanctions, and on global politics.  A shift on global-alliances independent from US is in place. Hence, for the first time in years, it appears the world is poised for a multi-polar world-order independent from US control.

The most import impact however is on the US dollar. When countries start to trade with other currencies, the value of the dollar falls precipitously and it damages the reserve currency that enabled the US to print money with impunity. Countries that depended on US finances to sustain their economies will crush. This includes countries like Ethiopia that receive billions of US dollars as food and security aid. Absent of new funding sources these countries will crush.

These new geopolitical developments will influence the political dynamics of various regions in Africa. The penetration of China by using/dumping the dollar to gain influence, Russia’s assertive-stances at the UN Security council is dissolving previously US dominated roles, thus diminishing US influences profoundly. For example China is building rail infrastructure that connects Kenya, to South Sudan, Uganda, and Rwanda.

These global developments will lead to changes of outdated US Africa policy. However, these changes will not come willfully. It will come due to US’s inability to manage situations that are spiraling out of control, changing global realities, and lack of funding. At the end, cost- benefit analysis will force US policy changes.

For example Ethiopia will, in short time, be too expensive to manage. To divide-and-rule the TPLF junta divided Ethiopia along ethnic and religious lines.  Many Ethiopians have been crying foul due to fears that religious clashes could lead to genocide in Oromia and other places. Dr. Gregory Stanton of Genocide Watch has been warning about genocide in Ethiopia. Moreover, Ethiopia’s interventions in various parts of the region will undoubtedly have repercussions.

Ethiopian authorities are also concerned that instability in Southern Sudan (SS) will lead to instability in Ethiopia. Refugees from SS are flooding Western Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s role on the SS civil war negotiations is transparent. With threats of arrest Ethiopian authorities forced signatures that forced President Salva Kiir to share power with the rebels. The signature was an effort to legitimize the SS rebel leader Riek Machar in pursuit of US interests.

President Slava Kiir knows the geopolitics of the region and Ethiopia’s roles in it. He is also a key player. Prior to the forced signature, President Kiir signed key security agreement with Egypt essentially giving Egypt backdoor access to Ethiopia. This is where Ethiopia’s concern emanates because the agreement accords Egypt a platform to access Ethiopia.

These are entanglements that show Ethiopia’s fragility. In addition to its internal problems, Ethiopia’s involvement in SS, Somalia and the hostilities against Eritrea will have repercussions. By no means can the US manage and afford to maintain funding a failing government. These types of events are running ahead of US foreign policy objectives.

The effect on Eritrea

The difference between 1991 and now Eritrea was stripped-bare then. Today, the reality in Eritrea is different. The mere fact that food security is attained is a game changer. Eritrea is in much better place and able to stand independently. Eritrea is the only country able to withstand aggressive US adventurism. It is ironic that Eritrea, a country that ascended at the fall USSR is managing to witness yet another cold war like event on the offing. Except this time the table appears to be turning with US super-power status on the decline while China and Russia rise.

Eritrea faced the wrath of US adventures alone. Even when nations knew Eritrea is standing truthfully by the law, no one stood for justice on the side of Eritrea for fear of retaliation by US. Regardless, the people of Eritrea knew, as President Isaias Afewerki said, “That this adventurism will not last.” The people of Eritrea stood together and fought knowing that the fight is for the very-existence of Eritrea and paid the price demonstrating that Eritrea can stand without having to depend on any power. As a result, today, countries are looking for allies and Eritrea is a perfect choice. Eritrea’s ability to defend herself and the neutral stances are bearing fruit.

Eritrea was able to withstand the wrath because of the UNITY of the people, and successful national-service program. Every Eritrean, no matter where they live or who they are, has to participate. As a result Eritrea has the most disciplined military population on the world. The people of Eritrea know how to respect the gun and live with it while protecting the nation. The mature-nature and the discipline makes Eritrea the most peaceful nation in Africa.

Eritrea’s greatest resources are the people not the rich natural resources the nation is endowed with. It is also national service and the unity of the people. And not surprisingly the enemies’ main targets are Eritrea’s human resources. The US and Ethiopia are doing everything to deny Eritrea her youth; attack the national service program and create divisions amongst the people. Their main aim is to find or create a crack.


Eritrea stood strong by the incorruptible leadership that bought Eritrea the time and space necessary to roll-with-the-punches. They secured the room necessary that allowed Eritreans to see global developments and learned from it with patience. Eritrea focused on the bigger picture avoiding traps of temporary PR gains. They showed sacrifice and selflessness that the people can identify. They showed resilience under pressure and told the world we will do it our way, the Eritrean way. Most importantly Eritrea is here by the united-will and strength of the people.

It is time to strengthen our unity and stand for what the martyrs gave their lives. Above all, be smart; lift each-other and our communities no matter where we are. That is what time it is.

 Wetru Awet N-Hafash

 Zel-Alemawi Zikri N-Sema-e-tatna

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What time is it in Eritrea Reviewed by Admin on 9:34 PM Rating: 5


  1. Please comment on the " Hawka Abey alo" tragedy. Do you think this was the way to discuss national matters? Do these fathers think that the gov doesn't care about the nation?

  2. It seems to me that the writer lives in another planet or he mistaken Eritrea to another country or he is writing his wishes. If Ethiopia could force President Kiir to sign the peace deal and he is willing to come back again to discuss about establishing a transitional Government, Ethiopia must be a strong and influential country in the region because a fragile country like the one you wished could not do such things as it will not have time for other issues like brokering peace deal in the SS rather it will be busy mending its fragile situation. Wake up man. It is very sad to see people like you could not see the reality on the ground. Read the letter written by the four catholic bishops because it summaries all the facts on the ground.

  3. How many times been Kiir and others from S.Sudan to Ethiopia?
    Did they find any solution ? a BIG no !
    And it will NEVER happen. Because woyane, as messenger of the evil, are there to make both brothers bleed for decades and seep the pertrol from behind the closed doors but not to solve S.Sudan problems. A new born baby know that.

  4. What time is it? It is time to bury Weyane Tigray and send them to back to their old profession: begging.

  5. Woyane is the root of all evil in the Horn of Africa. These people are a curse!

  6. Halfway reading the article a horrible idea came to my mind, what if the writer really believe his lies and distorted history? isn't it frightening? once I read that dictators and their supporters dont know they are bad, they feel they are the best thing happened to the country. Hitler, Mousoloni, Gadafi, Sadam Husein, Mengistu Hailemariam, Isaias Afewerki,..The most horrible thing about these dictators is they are convinced that they are the best thing happened to their respective country.

    When a liar start believing in his lie, that is then there is no hope

  7. What is the use to comment on wicked individuals dressed as priests. They are nothing except to be Vatican's 'provocation agents'.
    They don't care about the welfare of Eritrea, what they care and desire is to create animosity & religious friction among the people and the GoE.

  8. yes...Wetru Awet N'Haffash
    zelalemawi zekri ne Sema e tatna

  9. We can't even get them out of our land, Badime, let along sending them to begging. People like you are opportunist who just want defend the regime because free Eritrea is for Eritreans like for agames like you. If you a man go fight and get Weyane out of our land Badime.

  10. Well chronicled history and summary of Eritrea. Bravo!

  11. Amanuel left Eritrea to USA when Eritrean people went to fight against Ethiopia. Now Amanuel is claiming as the top Eritrean. Eritrean people are suffering but he is enjoying Eritrea. Our heroes are in prison for life.

  12. What an irony and blatant lie, coming from a woyane is however a no surprise. Why fear Eritrea so much? Aren't you 90+mil people that could have used resources better and better? I think you guys are hijacked by the masters that you really start believing you are a political unit. Foood is goood! Another thing you liad about is all those you mentioned are dead but Isaias so correct your list and put melles instead, at least this will give you the benefit of the doubt. Eritrea does not really bother about you because we know who is behind you and has you dazed and confused. Good luck anyways, annoyingly sub-standard,

  13. This is the true history of Eritrea and its people.
    Zel-Alemawi Zikri N-Sema-e-tatna

  14. You are Agame ass hole demhit. I was born in Tseazega is that Ageme? Ass hole. It is almost a facking profesion for you all to call everybody agame. You have no idea what Eritrea is!

  15. And then I say

  16. It all depends, how do you feel though? Were you just born there? What fo the people in Hazega think of you? Have you seen ZerAy' burial? It as an amharic writtings on it, from mengistu. ZerAy was no more than 20 years old i believe. So it all dependce on you, because the woyane did the same, it bombed our SemAtats memorial and wrote in amharica " Isaias we know that you take pride in these ( hdri swuAtna ) so this will piss you off they said. And now you with four cousins are telling us you dont really care about meAlty swuAtna, and that is when my brother called you what he did. I think that name now has become the all complete explanation of things that have no logical explanation; irrationality has rational in it so it cant describe what Agame describe to many in here, just as a point of referrance however keep a photo of any woyane you know handy and as soon as somebody calls you agame go to the nearest mirror and look at both you and the photo, if either one of the reflections looks like an agame; most likely you too could be one. RIP

  17. Where Is Z CruiseJune 15, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    I have a question to Ato Amanuel Bidemariam
    What if the fallen heroes and heroines get a chance to comeback to life and visite Eritrea for one day, what would they say??

  18. The article was not about Ethiopia, it was a reminder to all haters like you and so called opposition that Eritrea stood for whats right which is an absloute independence no ifs and no buts, any dealing with external parties should be based on mutual interest and cooperation. "mending fragile situation" the world has seen how the ethio gov mend situations by gunning down students. "fragile" Eritrea is not, don't worry abt us just worry your country does not disintegrate. fragile is a situation where ethincs are killed in mass and students are gun down in a day light and muslims are torured and killed for protesting thier right
    and about SS that was the last choice when the plan to remove Kirr failed. why do you think kirr signed a defence pact with Egypt if as you saying Ethio gove

  19. Is a friend of SS neive peoplw like you need the hate mask and see reality the real deal that ake place behind doors. your country has scant respect.thw rwgion peace but to ensure the wests intetest just to prolong thier grip on Ethiopian ppl amd feel thier pocket. Wake up!

  20. Genuine Eritreans,

    The con artist Isaias Afewerqi is trying to resurrect the trust he had cleverly and deceptively gained from Eritreans by yet another shrewd means; the dankera of 40th aniversay of Balogna , the diplomatic offensives, the testimony he purchased by corrupting the Canadian Gold mining officials in Eritrea; the drafting of Constitution etc.

    But why does he crave for our trust?

    Ans. The trust he is clamoring for is not the end however but the means, the means to finish the job for the purpose of which he joined Eritrean liberation in 1966, to cleanse Eritrea of its inhabitants by any means necessary, including terror, incarcerations, out right murdering, disease, starvation, forcefully conscripting the young for vain work etc.

    On the other hand, you have heard woyane bragging that once the Eritrean Nationalists of the 6os die out, they will successfully be able to undo Eritrean Sovereignty by cleverly stealing the hearts and minds of the young Eritrean generations.

    I visited Eritrea in 2011 and I was shocked to see so many beggars sitting on the streets of Asmera and around the churches. I asked one resident as to why there were so many beggars? He replied ,among others, that many of the beggars were wives and children of those who were languishing in endless conscriptions.

    Another day, I met a veteran teacher in Asmera and asked him as to why Isaias Afewerqi became the sole employer in the nation and underpaid the employees? He replied, because he wanted them to crawl under his feet in submission.

    To be continued.....

  21. You are totally a bewildered person. Fear is a virus that contaminates your thinking and shuts down the truth with a lie. The woyane left unturned stone to see Eritrea as a failed state. In so doing, they entered into a state of paranoia and began to recruit a few spiritually corrupted bishops through they masters in Vatican church. That's why the bishops wrote the letter to pamper woyane. Who do you think these bishops ? Have they ever complained to UN when Eritrea annexed to Ethiopia? Have they complained to the Vatican church when thousands innocent Eritreans slaughtered inside churches and mosques.
    Eritrea is still care her children. The facts are the facts and the truth began to expose the lies and cause Eritrea to walk in victory.
    Defending Eritrea against fabricated allegations is a blessing mission that link us to our martyrs legacy.
    Glory to our martyrs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. The challenges we Eritrea faced were and are partly self inflicted challenges, we did not unite on the cause of nationalism and sovereignty at the beginning, we did not out-smart the enemies, we were dormant and ignorant and paid a heavy price. Let that be a lesson. So keep your big mouth shut and obey to Shaebia !!!!

  23. Real facts about Eritrea and Ethiopia
    Friends of Eritrea gov. are Isolated countries with terrorist group like Alshabab in Somalia whereas Ethiopia freinds are all over the world except Eritrea gov.

  24. What time is it in Eritrea?

    Time to have a constitutional government.

    Long Live Eritrea
    Long live Wedi Ali
    Long live pilot Dejen
    Long live our Bishop

  25. You will roll-on inside your grave and still call the Great Man's name :) What an idiot !

  26. They would say
    BRAVO ! my people ! you are still working to make Eritrea shine.

    You keep your promise and are all working for betterment of the poor and oppressed people of Eritrea's life in rural areas. Villages are changed to small cities and small cities are growing to bigger cities with own administration, colleges, hospitals, infrastructure pop everywhere and the well aware youth who keep promise AND SWEAT to build Eritrea are those who would have the legacy in centuries to come.

    You all who build Eritrea today and you who never attempted to TRAMP on our graves to cross to the greener grass on the other side for personal gain, you still keep your promise to us unlike know-it-alls who scream from long distance as if it is not enough to betray our sacrifice and leave us behind.

    God Bless you all !

    As our struggle been tough I know building a country is not easy either but I am confident that all who try get luckied like we did on our struggle against the enemy. Keep Going ! get united and defend the hard gained FREEDOM and never kneel down for personal interest my people.

    I wish you all good life in our NEW ERITREA !
    This would be the words of our selfless martyrs who gave their ONE and ONLY precious life unlike all who scream from distance as if they mean they do better than those who try their best.

  27. You see my mother was pregnant in TEMBEN but it was the wish of my father Abraha that she gives birth to her child *me* in Tseazega, and then her feets turned into a donkeys legs she run into Tseazega the whole way from Temben... only to give birth to me lucky :). All the people of demhitazega were not happy about it. Then they gave me a Photo of wedi aday medhin berad, exactly as you suggesting. To my surprise I really look just like him. Specially when he winketh with his eyes. Man I even got an arteficial mustache, to make sure the reflection is there. Uhhhhhhhh an Agame I look like with that mustache. ha ha ha :)

  28. Now that was creative, wasn't that fun better than crying faul? I sure do appreciate your honesty and the mustche will grow if left alone. Welcome Tenbein is not Agame?? May be, may be? Walk-up east and kushet is not far but i am afraid the land of adi-yacob has heros in its curs, how about west instead, can you make it to Ts'lale? The hill would object you though. Why not do koretsa and head to Hmbrti, then there is EIT a definate scare for the uneducated, adi ghebru, adi hans adi werh-seb another dead end here too MekerKa Law School awaits you. So where to go you may ask? Hint, what do they mean by werh-seb? I know werhee means moon, but SEB? Advantures abound use you imagination but don't mix militia sRnay with Tegadeltti.

  29. No, you will come as a listro (tseregti chama) and minewale again to Asmara. Not what you dremt before and dreaming now.

  30. Where Is Z CruiseJune 16, 2014 at 5:58 PM

    I think they would say, "Nezi ina hiwetna kefilna" hager metsawet Issayas kitkewn...........

  31. I think they would say...."kab mot zferHu, bekheyti, hademti teQawemti ...

  32. wake up zombie!!


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