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There We Go Again Commentary This is the season when especially composed fanfares announce the graduation of tens of thousands of Sawa and college graduates in Eritrea.  Yesterday’s headlines read as follows:  “Participants of the 30th round National Service Commentary

This is the season when especially composed fanfares announce the graduation of tens of thousands of Sawa and college graduates in Eritrea.  Yesterday’s headlines read as follows:  “Participants of the 30th round National Service and 8th course Vocational Training Centre graduated on 15 July in the presence of President Isaias Afwerki, Ministers, Army Commanders, Regional administrators, senior Government and PFDJ officials as well as national association heads and thousands of citizens from different parts in the country and abroad.”

In the speech the un-elected president gave during the ceremony, he characterised the Sawa graduates as a ‘vibrant and competent youth equipped with the necessary skills’.  He also underlined that ‘tremendous achievements have been registered in nurturing physically and mentally fit youth since the centre opened its doors’.  However, that is not the full story.

The fact surrounding the graduate stories is an open secret in Eritrea.  Tens of thousands of youngsters are fleeing compulsory military service in Eritrea.  This year Sawa has graduated close to 15,000 graduates; last year, the 29th round national service graduated14, 000 recruits.  There are other figures that go along this statistics.

According to UNHCR sources, in 2016, 38,000 Eritreans asked for political asylum in Europe. Again, there were about 47,000 asylum seekers in 2015, roughly the same number as 2014. Those figures do not include refugees in the Horn of Africa region and throughout the African continent.   Those figures are not reported in the local media.

Ethiopia is the starting point for Eritrean refugees making their way to Europe. Ethiopia has the highest number of refugees in Africa – more than 700,000 people according to international monitors, of whom more than 100,000 are Eritrean.

The post-independence period failed to bring in the much anticipated respite in the country.  Promises such as the ever elusive democracy, the foundation stone of the struggle, went out of the window since Isaias Afeworki grabbed power in 1991. Gradually, his arrogance took over and the ruling elite ventured into pleasuring escapades while the quality of life for the rest of the population, particularly for the youth, sharply deteriorated. The mass migration is a stark reflection of this catastrophe.

The more young people graduate from the Sawa Military Camp, the more refugees Eritrea continues to produce.   So how is the country benefitting from churning out recruits by the tens of thousands every year?

Review overview
  • k.tewolde July 18, 2017

    The answer is simple as I mentioned in my previous post,the young mind is being molested by its bullying ‘caretakers’ before it starts crawling.It is like a little girl who her father left her at a young age,she spends the rest of her adult life going from one man to the other looking for the father who abandoned her a long time ago. SAWA is snatching the children from their natural place- the family. and yes the children will keep on running looking for that lost family.

  • Sol July 18, 2017

    The only truth in such ceremonies is that these boys and girls gave the oath to leave the country at the first opportunity. Look at this stupid dictator, he is talking about the achievement in physical nutrition and mentality fitness if speaking to aliens because the physical appearance tells the truth and the inhuman treatment to turn the graduates to totally obedient humans is also a daily life experiment in Saw a.

  • Semere July 18, 2017

    Shaebya has never had peoples agenda ever since its inception. During the Gedlli period, the tyranny was kept in disguised in the name of Gehedlli Secret. Issayas was confrontational and stubborn ever since his childhood. Look at what he has done to Ali Abdu’s daughter!!! If you think he gives a dime to the Eritrean people, then you are Lost!

  • Almaz July 19, 2017

    k.tewolde Sol and Swmwew .a futile attempt by the author. As to you three big OOOs –just wondering who does the talking and who two among you are the audience.. U Sounds like plying a ping pong ball game with a loud echo and disparate.


    • amanuel July 19, 2017

      U lost it all. You started insulting and ended insulting. Where is ur point almazina. U are not going back home. They, the young eritreans, are fleeing to come to u. Is that not true almazina. Unable to proove them wrong, it does not surprise me if all u have to do is just insult them. Aytitahagosi almazina tebelkuki, kifieti kinditisiter tigiter eyu.

      • Alamz July 20, 2017

        My point to you my brother is regardless how you dressed it, an article written on the premise of strong false is indefensible. In fact, come to think of it this article edges to a total foolishness. Just wondering why you feel understanding the big pull factor is mind boggling. This huge factor and our (the diasporas) activities is big for some kids to cross the border. Sad. Of course unless one turn blind-eye to the subject — it is easy to understand. Brothers do not forget the Newton First law applies equally to all in this universe. By the way, The place to build intelligent minds; SAWA will not be empty. — News flash be happy the participants for the 31st round are heading to Sawa!


        • k.tewolde July 20, 2017

          Read my post down below,you just confirmed who you are,case closed.

    • k.tewolde July 19, 2017

      Almaz (Michelle Obama),you are part of the audience,you just happen to echo a hollow incomprehensible sound.Next time please don’t quote the eloquent,articulate,smart,highly educated,self actualized…female role model.Just be you- a HGDEF mouthpiece. Love.

      • Alamz July 20, 2017

        Read my reply to amanuel

  • Tes July 19, 2017

    The dictator is doing his well crafted art of deceit as usual. After all he accustomed to tell fake achievement and wild promise. The problem is that there are a lot like almaze Eritreans still warship the dictator no matter what. I am not sure the root cause of their problem. It is absurd to see the very victim to come out and defend a tormentor. The only chance is a solution from the almighty

    • Sol July 19, 2017

      Dear Tes,
      The root cause of our problem is ignorance that IA has exploited to the core and still is exploiting. IA since early the seventies was using different tactics to get the maximum support of Eritreans. For some he used the divide and rule system like religion and region, for others he used the marxist slogans and for some others he pretended to be a liberal democrat but he was not committed to none of these principles he was just loyal to his dictatorial ambitions. Almaz and her likes are victims of the divide and rule tactic of the socially sick dictator.

      • Tes July 19, 2017

        Dear Sol
        I agree with you the problem is our sheer ignorance which is widespread. We are well behind from others when it comes to common knowledge and God given wisedom. How on earth could reconcile and defend a dictator the very reason one left his or her country and had gone through desert and sea. I think they changed to ignorant zombies.
        Cheers mate for excellent input.

  • Muzit R July 19, 2017

    To pass judgement is easy.. To look at the reality on the ground is not that easy. Is UNHCR making up stories and fabricating figures as to how many Eritrean youngsters are fleeing the country? The fleeing are here with us – Israel, Ethiopia, all over Europe – all of them are Sawa graduates. Who is the big zero here now? Who is burying his/her head in the sand?

  • Aba thimmer July 19, 2017

    ኣሕዋት፡እዚ’ውን ክሓልፍ ኢዩ።ነቀዝ ዘይብላ እኽሊ፡ኣበር ዘይብሉ ጉርብትና፡ሰይጣን ዘይብሉ ቅድስና፡ኣይረኣናን እውን።ሓቂ እንታሃልያ ሓሶት ክትህሊ ግድን ኢዩ፡ምስ ሕሰም በለጽ ክህሉ’ውን ግድን ኢዩ።ግን፡ክሳብ መዓስ ሰለል?ህግደፍ ኣብቂዑ ኢዩ ኢወኣት ደገፍቱ! ንሳግላ ቀሊዕካ ምብላዕ ጊዚየኡ ኣኺሉ ኢዩ።

  • meretse July 20, 2017

    Eritrean State Media posts a picture proudly that shows Isaias afeworki and one of his close followers attending a meeting with Chinese Delegates. China holds 7 chairs while Eritrea, inside Eritrea can only afford one seat. Does anyone has any naïve comment or comments to donate. Remember honest comments are worth pennies but still better than a “fake diamond”

    • k.tewolde July 20, 2017

      It is a one man show,the second individual is a translator,mandarin.

  • Meretse July 21, 2017

    Thanks. I am out of the maze now.