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Fetsum: Open letter to Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegne

Fetsum: Open letter to Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegne Dear Prime Minister; This is in response to your recent opinion on the Ethio-Eritrean situation posted at Assenna on July 7, 2015(ህግደፍ ንጎረባብቲ ሃገራት ምሕማስ ብምቕጻሉ: ስጉምቲ ምውሳድ ክንግደድ ኢና

Fetsum: Open letter to Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegne
Dear Prime Minister;
This is in response to your recent opinion on the Ethio-Eritrean situation posted at Assenna on July 7, 2015(ህግደፍ ንጎረባብቲ ሃገራት ምሕማስ ብምቕጻሉ: ስጉምቲ ምውሳድ ክንግደድ ኢና ክብል ቀዳማይ ሚኒስተር ኢትዮጵያ ገሊጹ) where you indirectly suggested of trying to remove the troublesome Eritrean dictatorship by force should it continue its destructive role in the region. But first I want to thank you for your administration’s assistance to the tens of Eritrean refugees in your country. This spiritual contribution to our society would strengthen our fragile relationship in the long run minus a mistake in the process of challenging the dictatorship that caused it.
At this point in time where your Excellency has indicated the possibility of war between the two countries to resolve the stalemate accusing the Eritrean regime of becoming a problem to the peaceful coexistence of the region overall, I feel dignified to share my opinion from a clean brotherhood state of mind.
My impression of the statement in relation to Ethiopia: There is no doubt that the Eritrean dictator has been menace to the region and to the Eritrean society. He incubates armed organizations (Demhit, Ginmbot-7, Arbegnoch Ginbar, etc.) that claim to be fighting for democracy in Ethiopia in the pretext of the Badme issue that he concurrently has been using to emasculate the Eritrean society with iron fist since the war started in 1998. It is clear that the dictator is hosting them to destabilize Ethiopia though they may not have that capacity as they stand today. It is also clear that the Eritrean refugee crisis is a problem to the Ethiopians and that he does not want to talk to Ethiopian politicians including you before the return of Badme to Eritrea although dialogue may be the best solution here for this effect to materialize.
But “it takes two to tango”. Despite the fact that the Eritrean dictatorship is a common enemy of all East African societies and that we all want it out of the way, I don’t believe he is the only one that went wrong here because Ethiopia has also contributed a lot to the terrible relationship of the two countries by refusing to comply with the Algiers agreement on unconditionally accepting the international verdict on the Real State’s ownership. Although Afwerki’s refusal of dialogue to settle the issue is obstacle to peace between the two countries, Ethiopia’s illegal occupation of Badme has also been equally a big problem to the same. Ethiopia cannot have the cake and eat it too. I regret telling you that it is hard for me as an Eritrean to imagine normalizing the relationship with Ethiopia having Badme under its control. It is difficult for Eritreans to do this no matter how stronger Ethiopia may be while it continues illegally occupying Eritrean land against the agreement the two countries signed in front of the universe. I hope we will resolve this matter with genuine brotherhood based on the interest of our peoples in the future but violence is not the answer to this problem. I therefore strongly condemn the Afwerki regime’s reaction by hosting useless armed Ethiopian groups to our societies and peaceful coexistence.
My impression of the statement in relation to the Eritrean society: There is no doubt that our country is in deep crisis. It is held hostage by DIA at the excuse of the Badme issue. In essence, the Badme situation should never have anything to do with economically and socially crushing the Eritrean society but it has been used by the dictator to enslave the youth in the army, to hurt its education system, causing the exodus, destroying homes, illegal taxation and corruption, and freezing the economy. There is no justification using it to extend the dictatorship through the curse of ignorance and poverty. Afwerki’s State Policy in these areas was therefore indefensible via the Badme stalemate. He wanted to damage the Eritrean society in principle misusing the border issue for me to conclude that the Badme issue and our country’s current situation were mutually exclusive derivatives of his political mismanagement. Yet, Badme under Ethiopia’s control remains being a constant in the common problematic equation.
In so stating, the news that the Ethiopian forces in Eritrea killed Ethiopian soldiers did not receive good ears from Eritreans because we know that the desperate dictator is trying to divert the people’s attention from focusing on his destruction needless saying that no one as Ethiopian leader can expect your Excellency to be quiet on the Eritrea-instigated aggression against your country by the amorphous Ethiopian forces in the country. Ethiopia should certainly respond in action to their recent offenses if that was the case but I don’t think full-fledged war is the solution to this problem. Attacking the country would most likely work against the interest of the Ethiopians and the Eritreans because we have to understand that war is no solution. We should keep war as the last choice to a given problem after trying other means of solutions. Igniting war before exhausting other remedies is simply destructive in my opinion that will cause more problems to both societies even if it may help removing the dictatorship.
Although the fall of the dictator is the solution for both of us and as disgusted as the Eritreans have been of it and no matter how tempting it may be for Eritreans using any means of accomplishing it, Ethiopia has no justification to attack Eritrea while refusing to comply with the international verdict on the village. I don’t think you Mr. Excellency miss the truth that one of the biggest problems to the solution has certainly been Ethiopia’s decision to illegally keep Badme, the only excuse for the dictator to continue his destruction in our country and the peaceful coexistence of our societies. This card may also be the only legitimate card left in his soul to keep on surviving till it is over.
In light of the concrete realities, the Afwerki regime is a dying dynasty of a weak dictator that Ethiopia can neutralize without firing a bullet. It can do something to get rid of the system without causing incalculable damage to both societies if it is really interested to genuinely help the Eritrean people and our peaceful coexistence in the long run. Here are my suggestions, your Excellency and I hope of making sense for you to just give them a flush: returning Badme to Eritrea, pressurizing the confused Eritrean opposition forces in the country to unite into forming the transitional government of Eritrea in exile and arming them to fight the dictator through strictly Eritrean blood and sweat if necessary. The Afwerki regime can no longer survive with the Badme card snatched by the Ethiopians in the first situation, and the Eritrean people would get international support to change the condition on their own in the second and third situations.
Experience, however, says that DIA does not want to see Badme in Eritrea, it is suicidal to him. He has been avoiding dialogue for this reason. Returning Badme to Eritrea in his terms without dialogue, however, would scare Afwerki to death because it would take away his only means of cheating the people and the international community. Taking this card away from the dictator can do the job better and faster, and in fact is the best way of doing it needless to mention that it is also mandatory for normalizing our relationship after the fall of dictatorship in Eritrea, meaning that Ethiopian politicians can neutralize the Eritrean dictator without war and the key appears to be in their hand. They can deny him the Badme excuse to mess up with the region and our society by simply getting out of it. This would then accelerate his downfall leaving him naked without cause for the stalemate and exposing him to deal with the pending internal issues of the Eritrean people (democracy, constitution, SAWA slavery, civil rights, prisoners, etc) that he lived vindicating by the Badme factor. It would shift the attitude of his supporters towards the resistance that is currently exploding out of his control because he will be conditioned to deal with all the mistakes he has been doing to the society under the cover of this differential.
The time and momentum as you know have shifted the Eritrean society in favor of change. The dictatorship has become an island in Eritrea and our people looking for change from every direction of the planet for you to believe that the people can do it with effective effort from the East African family in terms of helping us form a transitional government in absentia. If IGAD with strong emphasis on Mr. Meles Zenawi’s efforts helped the Somalian society to successfully build a transitional government that eventually actualized a democratically elected government in that country, what makes Ethiopia ineffective in this regard in so far as the Eritrean situation is concerned? Although the forces in question should take most of the blame, why did Ethiopia so far fail to help them unite for a transitional government on the basis of secular democracy?
Eritreans are today mobilized enough to take care of their business with visionary leadership from the resistance, which is missing. All peace loving people should at this time try to accelerate the momentum of the exploding Eritrean resistance by directing it towards forming said government in order to get rid of the bug as soon as possible. The Ethiopians can help the resistance to adopt Liberian, Somalian or a hybrid means solution if they are serious about the situation because strategy is what is missing today in the highly mobilized Eritrean Diaspora and the Eritrean resistance (political parties) in particular. That is what is to be done by our Ethiopian brothers and sisters to get rid of the problem without war and I believe you should navigate the dynamics accordingly to get rid of the common problem at hand like your country helped the Somalians to accept a transitional government towards a democratically elected government. Although returning Badme at this point in the situation may not be timely for the Ethiopians not from the angle of inevitability but that of psychology, genuinely helping the opposition force to unite towards democracy appears to be within the capacity of your government, yet we have not seen this taking place to the digress of both societies.
In conclusion, despite what happened between us in the darkest moments of our history, our relationship from now on should focus on constructive coexistence of our people from both sides of the border. We as a family of the same origin can no longer afford to hurt one another for we have destroyed each other enough to shift the gear towards regional love and peace, and of course progress like what your country is doing today to the bliss of all Africans. The era of war and destruction should be history for our wounded societies replaced by genuine concern for each other and commitment to support one another for the common cause. Our societies should do maximum effort to achieve mental transformation from war and poverty to peace and development. We should not recycle the suffering we experienced because of wars from now on but rather encourage each other to do better since we are destined to live attached to each other for ever. We fail when one of us fails and we succeed when one of us succeeds: the remarkable success of Ethiopians in the last few years and under your administration is therefore the success of East Africans and the Eritreans in particular. So should be the feeling in your side towards the success of the Eritrean people. Likewise, I hope you are enjoying the success of the Eritrean Cyclists representing our continent for the first time in the Tour de France with impacting results in the races. The role of our generation should therefore be primarily cleansing the old mentality of war for the sake of everlasting harmonic relationship between the future East African generations. Good luck my brother!

Review overview
  • Alganesh July 11, 2015

    Mr Fetsum, the simple reality on the ground is while Eritrea barks, Ethiopia moves on.
    In other words, when Eritrea exports refugees to neighboring countries, Ethiopia is about to export electricity to neighboring countries. Ethiopia’s achievements are merely of hard work, living and working in peace and cooperation with all her neighbors, living within her limits, solving problems peacefully that is round a table not by guns like higdefs. In short, living in the real world of the 21st century.

    • Eritreawit July 12, 2015


      Not so fast missy, Ethiopia is not living in peace with her neighbors, your government is an agent of the west; you know it and every body knowas it ask any East African, example who is distablizing Somalia. Eritrea never bark, HGDF does. About your growing economy try to help the Ehiopian people not the internationl corporates, and regional rulling party politicians.

  • hmmm July 11, 2015


    If Ethiopia is moving forward then why is your dictator declaring war? Just like Isyas, the Ethiopian dictators have been using Eritrea as an excuse to deny the people of Ethiopia from aspiring to achieve true democracy. A single party has been controlling the country for 24 years with an iron fist.

    The majority of Ethiopians have been uprooted from their ancestral lands so their fertile land can be sold to the 21’st century colonialist expanding in to Africa. The fact that your government is illegally holding on to Badme is to use it as an excuse to control the people of Ethiopia and deny them peace and stability. All dictators need an imaginary buggy man to be used as an excuse to hide their dirty activities. In the end the exploited population of Ethiopia and Eritrea continue to suffer while those in power enjoy their loot.

    • Alganesh July 12, 2015

      Mr or Mrs Hmmm, you must be the new spokesman/woman of Ginbot 7 and ESAT’s misinformer or poorly misinformed.
      Allow me to put it this way – say there is a patient with a certain illness, and a certain doctor diagnosed correctly the illness of the patient. But the patient was not happy with the diagnostic techniques of the that certain doctor. However, that unhappiness on the patient’s part does not change the fact that he has that particular illness which WAS CORRECTLY DIAGNOSED BY THAT CERTAIN DOCTOR.

      With all due respect, you sound like a relative of that patient who is cheering for the patient to deny that he has that particular illness. In the long run, denial, jealousy and hatred won’t get you anywhere.

      Eritrea is no more in danger from Ethiopia and many well informed Eritreans know this fact very well. The ruling class in Eritrea through their misinformers and agents has to use Ethiopia as the boogieman to cow the people in to submission and keep the poor young tied up at the borders. On the contrary, Ethiopia is really worried that Eritrea might make a foolish move that would force her to go to war reluctantly. Unlike Eritrea, war is not a priority for Ethiopia right now nor is a change of a regime in Eritrea.

      • Tesfit July 12, 2015

        And is that certain Doctor Hailemariam Desalegn and you want us to buy whatever he sells?
        Thanks, but not thanks.

  • abe July 12, 2015


    Your article is full of hallowlow and wish full thinking.For the record the PM never said Ethiopia is going to remove your dictator nor invade Eritrea,you guys are hallucinating,Ethiopia will never do your dirty job,as a sovereign,independent nation,you are expected to take care of your own problem.The PM said Ethiopia will take appropriate measures.
    As for the defunct,null and void Algeries treaty,”B’zeben Wibe zsememes Wibe indabele mote” describes your mentality best.

    • Alganesh July 12, 2015

      Brother or sister Abe, YES, what the PM of Ethiopia said was Ethiopia would take appropriate measures “if pushed and provoked”. In the tigrigna saying would simply be “tideliye o’mo yizingaAkin”, don’t ask for wars or simply watch and be careful of what you wish for!

    • Eritreawit July 12, 2015


      Your government is doing the west’s dirty job including the Dictator in Eritrea, they are working together to kill the poor Ethiopian childeren, we know the rich will never send their kids to war. So you are not asked to do our job, but to stop being an agent and starting un nesessary wars between the two countries. REMEMBER YOU ARE IN POWER WITH THE HELP OF ERITREAN SUPPORT.

  • Erimias S July 12, 2015

    You are entitled to your opinion, but you are not entitled to your own twisted facts.
    The blaming the rest of the world and never taking responsibility is what PFDJ excels at! Sadly, this mentality is also permeating into the Eritrean psyche.

    A friend who is not honest enough to correct his friend’s mistake is not true to his friend and to himself. So please stop the charade and be a responsible person to your friend and to poor Eritrea for a change and leave the Ethiopian business to Ethiopians as they are just minding their own businesses.

  • awlia berhe July 12, 2015

    You covert higdefs your comments are null and void.pseudo opposition is coming to an end.
    You are doing you nasty job. I have never wrote a comment because on the name of one the articles drafted and sensored,posted by your bosses

  • Arre July 12, 2015

    Dear author, I often try to make sense of your writings in poor English but none makes sense. First, try to make your stand clear. Every sentence runs counter to its own meaning. This is rubbish to be open letter to a prime minister from an Eritrean.


  • FISEHA July 12, 2015

    Brother Fetsum, What happened to you? Right now, I think the burning issue in Eritrea is how do we stop the suffering of the Eritrean people? It is disappointing to hear some Eritreans still consider the Badme issue as priority to resolve the problme in Eritrea. Fetsum, do you know that Eritrea lost other lnad while it gained Badme? We, Eritreans need to be honest about the most troubling issues at hand. In my opinion, first we should work to remove the dictator; then working on normalizing relationship with our neighbors.

  • kiktkat July 12, 2015

    Well said the DIA tries to hide on the badme issue and the Ethiopian goverment has legal obligation to bind with Alger ‘ s agreement. So if ethiopian government handed badme to eritrea then let us to do the reaming job ourselves. But if the Ethiopian goverment rejected to obey Alger’s agreement even if DIA gone from power the poor eritreans have moral and legal obligation to retain our border by any means.

  • negash July 13, 2015

    Ethiopia didn’t ask support from Eritreans with HIGDEF’S AGENDA to it’s action on Eritrean dictator. Ethiopia does not want to delay its development plan for even a short time in dealing against the dictator, but it might be forced to stop the dictator. there are few Eritrean who do not support the action might be taken by Ethiopia, but Ethiopia will continue with its plan.

  • Simon G. July 13, 2015

    Ato Fitsum,
    Your letter is good and very polite and civilized. We need more intelligent people like you.
    However, do you really believe isayas will behave differently, if Ethiopia withdraws from Badme? What are you going to do, if he doesn’t change? Who will push him out? If we could, what are waiting for? Are we standing still because of Badme? Do you believe his supporters will insist that he changes? I guess not.
    Ethiopia won’t leave Badme, yet. Why? My theory: they will wait until Eritrea reaches to the level that will be hard to survive as its own. Then, forget about Badme but the whole Eritrea will be in question. These guys (both isayas & Ethiopian govt), they are in synch. Working together to bring Eritrea into chaos. Whose fault is that? Well, mostly those ignorant HGDF followers but it is also the opposition’s fault. We are watching our beloved country going to the drains.
    Do we have time now to prevent that/ I believe we do but we need to act now.