Geeska Afrika Online

Eritrea: The Modern Day Carpetbaggers and Scalawags

Washington (HAN) September 13, 2014. Expert Analysis, Your Power & Regional Influence Magazine, opinion page by Sophia Tesfamariam – Voice of an Eritrean woman ( – The Modern Day Carpetbaggers and Scalawags-Final.

This article outlines and denounces the work of US anthropologists in Eritrea in US-funded campaigns backing political opposition in the country. The author of the piece is a prominent Eritrean American activist. Those involved in the AAA should have a close look and perhaps consider further action.

On 5-7 September 2014 Jay Faber’s Counterpunch article, “Imperial Civil Society, False Fronts for Wall Street”, Jaber writes about “compromised NGOs” such as Avaaz and Amnesty International, the foundations and other entities that fund them,  and how they have become “imperial civil society” cow towing to Wall Street, and being used to “justify privatization, austerity, and military aggression by NATO and the US”.

In his article, Jaber writes about the relationship between these international NGOs, Corporate America and the Government. The two salient points presented are:

  1. “With corporate and government funding, often laundered through banks and foundations, international NGOs inspire pathos by constantly producing images of despair—thus allowing them to dominate discourse from an emotional vantage point. As a market-oriented institutional apparatus, this vast bureaucracy works hand in hand with military and finance authorities, thus functioning as Trojan horses on a par with transnational organized crime…As a fifth column of fascism, imperial civil society – funded by such entities as Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Ford Foundation, and Soros Open Society Institute – operates worldwide (in tandem with official false fronts like USAID, National Endowment for Democracy, and U.S. Institute for Peace) to subvert sovereignty and derail democracy in favor of US hegemony…”
  1. ”Overthrowing and destabilizing governments, using NGOs like Avaaz as provocateurs, puts authentic non-profits and journalists at risk. Indeed, the imperial network of financiers like Soros makes NGO entrepreneurs in the pro-war champagne circuit accomplices in crimes against humanity. As frontline opportunists in the psywar waged against public consciousness, these false fronts legitimate “humanitarian warfare” and “free-market environmentalism,” employed against indigenous peoples and independent states…”

So the reader might be asking what or how that has anything into do with Eritrea and in this sitting, the author will present the facts and allow the readers to make their own determinations:


The Carpetbaggers

The bulk of the articles, reports, books that advance the narrative on Eritrea disseminated through academia, media and policy making institutions in the United States and Europe have been generated by a handful of individuals and the “NGOs” that they are associated with. There may be others, but these are the repeat offenders…and the “wonks” who have made Eritrea their forte-lucrative one at that…and who work and collaborate with each other on the Eritrean Project…

  • Tricia Redeker Hepner– Funded by the Social Science Research Council and the Wenner-Gren Foundation began her research of Eritreans in the Philadelphia area and today, as Eritrea expert at Amnesty International has been at the forefront of the anti-Eritrea campaign. Her involvement with Eritrean politics is fishy from the get go. How is it that a young American college graduate on her very first trip to Eritrea finds herself entangled in Eritrean politics?
  • Dan Connell– Grassroots international, RootsNet and the Cape Ann Forum and Freedom House-Recipient of several grants including the MacArthur Foundation. This is the same Foundation that funds Human Rights Watch and other “NGOs”.
  • Frank Smyth-Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ)-Too numerous to list here-Annual Report[1] has details of the individuals and corporations that fund this outfit-with Dan Connell, is a staple in the Eritrean political scene
  • David Bozzini-self professed expert on Eritrea- Funded by the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, which is funded by the federal and the 16 state governments of Germany
  • Victoria Bernal– Bernal has been the recipient of grants and fellowships from Wenner-Gren, Fulbright, the Rockefeller Foundation and others
  • Maryan Van Reisen-European External Policy Advisors (EEPA)-self professed expert on Eritrea-Clients include the European Parliament, various organs of the UN, various NGOs[2] including Caritas, Human Rights Watch, Action Aid, Save the Children etc. etc. Might explain the reluctance of the UN to conduct an independent investigation into the trafficking of Eritrea’s youth. As we shall see later, Van Reisen, like her counterparts, also has an interest in prolonging the agony of asylum seekers and Eritrean migrants.
  • Jennifer Riggan-Came to Eritrea through the Peace Corps as an “English Teacher” in 1995-but now is an expert on Eritrea, and like the others “prepares affidavits and testifies on behalf of asylum seekers. Eritrea’s education system is her main target
  • Sara Dorman-Came to Eritrea as an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Asmara.  The new graduate claims “They needed a political scientist and I needed a job. It seemed like a great way to bridge the transition from student-hood to the real world”.  Today, she “studies” the behavior of Eritreans in social media and judging from the papers produced about Eritrea in the past, she will insist on painting a bleak picture of Eritrea and its leadership.
  • Kjetil Tronvoll-A Norwegian researcher with the  Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights (OCPHR) is in a new “Struggle for Freedom in Eritrea”, and has worked closely with the EQL-His papers, books and articles on Eritrea are too numerous to list here. He is also one of the first western anthropologist to enter Eritrea in 1991-to conduct “research”. An avowed anti-EPLF westerner, he insists on defining Eritrea and the needs of her people.

Those who have followed developments in Africa and especially the Horn of Africa for the last 25 years are familiar with these agencies and their “work” in Africa, but none has experienced as an aggressive campaign by groups funded by the “false fronts”, as the State of Eritrea and its people…(Zimbabawe comes close)

The carpetbaggers, dual hatted researchers, “anthropologists” by day, and “hired intellectuals” by night, have become a staple at every conference, forum, meeting, seminar, workshop etc. held about Eritrea. The many “by invitation only” conferences and presentations are made at academic institutions and forums and are never known with the Eritrean people in Eritrea or in the Diaspora. The idea is to “sensitize” the American and European public so that any actions of their governments will then become easily accepted.

Sometimes, one gets the feeling that Eritrea is a European state… as those around the table are almost always Caucasians, with the members of the Eritrean Quislings League (EQL) serving as the “Eritrean faces”. Most of the papers are placed in “academic journals” and other repositories not easily accessible to the general public, and if they were, the Eritrean public was not aware of their existence. Heck, even the Eritrean Studies Association is run by scalawags and carpetbaggers…hence its slow demise.

In “GOOD INTENTIONS-Norms and Practices of Imperial Humanitarianism”[3], Maximillion Forte and his colleagues discuss:

“…the many ways in which the new imperialism involves partitioning the world into tutors and wards, saviours and victims. Underlying the seduction of imperial elite-lore are established modes of socialization and enculturation, ranging from the elaborate and persistent demonization of chief opponents of US empire to the lionization of military actors commonly rendered as heroes…Western NGOs, and especially those in receipt of government funding and whose work abroad meets with the approval of the US and/or the EU, have been instrumental in promoting topdown solutions that strengthen “civil society” at the expense of states in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean…”

Well, Eritreans know a thing or two about “elaborate and persistent demonization of chief opponents of US”, as Eritrea has been subjected to a number of defamation and vilification campaigns coordinated by the western media and NGO networks. It was not difficult for Eritreans to see through the gimmicks and ploys (as they mimicked others-especially the regime in Ethiopia) in their band wagon campaigns (terrorism, “religious freedom”, Diaspora Tax, forced labor and now human trafficking). There was nothing creative or imaginative in their copycat campaigns. More importantly, their campaigns proved how disconnected they were from Eritrea and her people.

Eritreans in the Diaspora were introduced to the carpetbaggers and scalawags in 2001 when they organized, participated in and advanced the orchestrated campaigns against the State of Eritrea and its leadership. While Eritrean “civil society” groups were mushrooming in cyberspace, the carpetbaggers were setting the groundwork for their long term agenda against Eritrea. Silencing/co-opting of the Eritrean academics, scholars and intellectuals was the first step.

While these “research” papers were accessible to the many Eritrean academics and scholars at the various educational institutions in the United States and Europe-but for some reason-they have not been able to respond to the deluge (see below for a list of some of the published items on Eritrea). As has been stated in the past by this author, the silencing of Eritrea’s academics and scholars, to turn their backs on Eritrea and its newly established government, was the first transparent method used by Eritrea’s detractors as they set out to undermine Eritrea’s economic, social and political development.

It was a simple case of using the Peter Principle-wherein, the carpetbaggers label the Eritrean Intellectual/Scholar, and then, as if to prove that he/she is not what they say he/she is, decides to remain silent, or worse, participate in the anti-Eritrea chorus. Let us take a look at what Patrick Gilkes, the British advisor to the regime in Ethiopia wrote the following in 1991:

“…Much, indeed, of the writing on Eritrea has been at the level of the polemic or a product of the ‘guerilla groupie’…A surprising number of eminent scholars and journalists have taken the leading Eritrean movement, the EPLF, at its own evaluation, and its historical claims as fact…The results have impoverished the literature on Eritrea and have created a distorted national mythology…”

Judging from the literature on Eritrea that has been disseminated through academia and the media, the distortion was by design-and by silencing the Eritrean intellectual- the new narrative on Eritrea could be produced and the silence of the Eritrean academics, intellectuals and professionals was guaranteed.

So what is the purpose of writing about Eritrea and Eritreans, when there is very little input from the majority of Eritreans in Eritrea or in the Diaspora?  The carpetbaggers pretend to care more about Eritrea, or presume to know what is best for Eritrea and its people, than the Government of Eritrea and the people of Eritrea, yet very few Eritreans in the Eritrean Diaspora communities around the world have ever heard of these “researchers” or read any of the papers they have produced on Eritrea-with the exception of the scalawags in their coterie.

The author also finds it interesting that with over a million Eritreans in the Diaspora, these “researchers” rely mostly on information laundered by the NED sponsored individuals and groups or, asylum seekers and refugees, who can hardly be considered as being credible or neutral. The many articles, papers and books about Eritrea were written mostly to influence American and European public opinion.

The Scalawags

The EQL has over the years discounted the role of the CIA in Eritrea and have tried in vain to convince the Eritrean people that the cyber “struggle” is being waged on their behalf by genuinely caring individuals and groups. Prima facie evidence points to the contrary. There is very little doubt that members of the Eritrean Quislings League are groomed, financed and promoted by Ethiopia, Washington and its allies in Europe.

The 14-year long defamation and vilification of Eritrea and its leadership, thecoordinated media blitzes, and the many articles and reports being generated about Eritrea, her people and her government come from individuals and groups who are directly or indirectly funded and supported by the Albert Einstein Institute (AEI), the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Amnesty International (AI), Human Rights Watch (HRW), Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ) and George Soros’ Open Society and others. So no matter what their stated agendas and covers…in the end…He who pays the piper picks the tune!

Eritreans are also familiar with the many petition sponsored by Avaaz, whose vast network is used to garner support. These groups who do not represent the people of Eritrea or the Eritrean Diaspora, partner with Amnesty International, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), Human Rights Watch (HRW), Avaaz and others to take advantage of their access and vast networks. The innocent individuals and groups that are signing these petitions have never even heard of Eritrea, let alone know of its leadership and the conditions of its people. These petitions and letters sent though the “networks” have been used as evidence of discontent by some governments, and agencies such as the US Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Eritreans are capable of speaking for themselves and do not need others to do their bidding…

The external “false fronts” also need internal “false fronts” and there have been many created in the last 12 years.  Let us take a look at some of the groups that mushroomed in cyberspace since the Eritrea Ethiopia border conflict (1998-2000) and at the various articles and reports produced in the bid to create “images of despair” and the desperate narratives on Eritrea. At one point there were over 50 cyber groups and organizations, and that is when the author baptized them as the Eritrean Quislings League[4], as it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of their alphabet soup titles and bandwagon causes. Most have since vanished, and some have transformed into the more lucrative “refugee assistance” and “asylum services” NGOs.

Arundhati Roy in her 8 September 2014 article, “The NGO-ization of Resistance”wrote the following:

“…In the long run, NGOs are accountable to their funders, not to the people they work among. They’re what botanists would call an indicator species. It’s almost as though the greater the devastation caused by neoliberalism, the greater the outbreak of NGOs. Nothing illustrates this more poignantly than the phenomenon of the U.S. preparing to invade a country and simultaneously readying NGOs to go in and clean up the devastation… They unwittingly reinforce racist stereotypes and reaffirm the achievements, the comforts and the compassion (the tough love) of Western civilization. They’re the secular missionaries of the modern world… It depoliticizes resistance. It interferes with local peoples’ movements that have traditionally been self-reliant….Real political resistance offers no such short cuts. The NGO-ization of politics threatens to turn resistance into a well-mannered, reasonable, salaried, 9-to-5 job. With a few perks thrown in. Real resistance has real consequences. And no salary…”

Here is a list of some of the groups established by the Eritrean Quislings League in the last 12 years or so. Almost all receive some kind of support from the “false fronts”:

  1. Eritrean Human Rights Advocacy Group (EHRAG)- -Awate team
  2. EHDR-UK/NECS Europe- Dawit Mesfin(Berlin 13) and Elsa Chyrum
  3. Citizens’ Initiative for the Salvation of Eritrea (CISE)-Paulos Tesgiorgis grouping
  4. Horn Peace Engagement (HOPE)-Paulos Tesfagiorgis (Recipient of multiple NED grants)
  5. Citizens for Democratic Rights in Eritrea (CDRie)-Gaim Kibreab, Petros Tesfagiorgis and others
  6. Eritreans for Justice & Democracy, Benelux (EJDB)-Habtom Yohannes
  7. The Association of Eritrean Journalists in Exile (AEJA)- Milkeas Mehreteab and Semere Taezaz
  8. Network of Eritrean Professionals in Europe (NEPE)-Elsa Chyrum
  9. East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP)-Elsa Chyrum founding member and focal person for Eritrea.
  10. Human Rights Concern Eritrea (HRCE)-Elsa Chyrum, funded by NED and others
  11. Release Eritrea-Selam Kidane and Berhane Asmelash
  12. Agenzia Habeshia- Mussie Zerai
  13. Eritrean Movement for Human Rights and Democracy (EMHDR)-Simon Weldehaimanot, Daniel Rezene Mekonnen, Meron Estefanos, Yonas Mehari and others. Funded by NED and others
  14. Eritrean Youth Solidarity for Change (International Commission on Eritrean Refugees (ICER)-whose Commissioners include Yebio Woldemariam, serves as ICER President, Yonas Mehari, Tricia Hepner, Nunu Kidane, Meron Estefanos

Supposedly, by having many different organizations, they hoped to make it look like there was “widespread” discontent with the Government in Eritrea. In 2001, the author had dubbed these “cyber” activists as being “FUDists”-those who insist on spreading Fears, Doubts and Uncertainty about Eritrea and its future- unable to respond with hard facts, they chose instead to resort to scare-mongering to cast a shadow of doubt over Eritrea and its leadership.

Tricia Redebeker Hepner, has used her position and access at academic institutions in the United States and the United Kingdom to disseminate numerous articles, books, reports and papers on Eritrea and works closely with the EQL and strives to give them the prominence they seek. Writing about the Astro Turf Eritrean cyber groups parading as human rights and democracy activists, Hepner said:

“…A cursory search on-line for all things Eritrean returns an overwhelming array of acronyms, each representing a group somewhere along the continuum of inception to disintegration. After the establishment of mission statements, by-laws, and listserves, many of these organizations seem to wither away rapidly. The Eritrean cyberworld is littered with the empty shells of well-intentioned ‘civic societies’ whose names are the only remaining reflection of the passion with which they were conceived…The ephemeral nature of Eritrean exile organizations demands that analyses of their activity and any assessment of their potential impacts be undertaken with caution. Most of these proliferating groups (or individuals masquerading as groups) exist only in the internet public sphere and rarely hold meetings or events in real time and space…”

But that did not stop Tricia Hepner and her “partners in crime” from providing them with unfettered access and multiple forums from which to spew their filth. After all, it was more palatable if it came from Eritreans themselves…even if the “how to” manuals were produced elsewhere. These organizations and groups also work very closely with the minority regime in Ethiopia and have campaigned and petitioned governments and international organizations to sanction Eritrea, stop development and humanitarian assistance, isolate Eritrea diplomatically, economically and politically.

Eritrea, whose name was purposefully banished from all western media during the bitter 30-year struggle, a country whose people were massacred and its infrastructures brought to rubbles as the powers to be took turns arming Ethiopia during the long and bitter struggle for independence, peaked little interest in the halls of western academia, or even the various human rights and religious institutions, that are falling all over each other to pen articles, reports, thesis papers, and all sort of research on Eritrea today. But as soon as Eritrea became independent, using various pretexts and opportunities, the carpetbaggers descended on Eritrea like vultures, with their various “research” projects.

Let us take a look at some of the many papers produced on Eritrea, nationalism in Eritrea and most importantly, its Diaspora populations:

  • Eritrea’s Diasporain Regional Peace and Human Rights-Simon Weldehaimanot
  • The Eritrean Diaspora: Myth and Reality-Redie Menghisteab
  • The Role of Women in Post- Conflict Transformation in the Horn of Africa: A Case Study of Eritrea-Daniel Rezene Mekonnen and Mirjam van Reisen
  • Human Trafficking in the Sinai: Refugees between Life and Death-Miryam Van Reisen and Meron Estefanos
  • The Eritrean Diaspora, the War of Independence-Post-Conflict (Re)-construction and Democratisation -Gaim Kibreab
  • Refugees, Ransoms and Revolt-Dan Connell
  • The Eritrean Diaspora: Savior or Gravedigger of the Regime? Diaspora Responses to the Imposition of UN Sanctions-Nicole Hirt 2013
  • The Eritrean National Identity: A Case Study-Peggy Hoyle
  • Out of the ‘memory hole’: Alternative narratives of the Eritrean revolution in the diaspora-Bettina Conrad
  • Reconciling Ownership of Development and External Assist-Rachel Hayman
  • Eritrea’s Nation and State-building: Re-assessing the impact of ‘the struggle’-Sara Rich Dorman
  • Narratives of nationalism in Eritrea: research and revisionism-Sara Rich Dorman
  • Born powerful? Post-Liberation Politics in Eritrea and Zimbabwe-Sara Rich Dorman
  • Tourism and the Eritrean Diaspora- Anna Arnone
  • Diaspora, cyberspace and political imagination: the Eritrean diaspora online-Victoria Bernal
  • From Warriors to Wives: Contradictions of Liberation and Development in Eritrea-Victoria Bernal
  • Pittfalls of Nationalism in Eritrea- Tekle M. Woldemikael
  • Introduction: Postliberation Eritrea-Tekle M. Woldemikael
  • Soldiers, Martyrs, Traitors, and Exiles-Political Conflict in Eritrea and the Diaspora- Tricia Redeker Hepner
  • Religion, nationalism, and transnational civil society in the Eritrean diaspora-Tricia Redeker Hepner
  • Transnational governance and the centralization of state power in Eritrea and exile-Tricia Redebeker Hepner
  • Mobilizing the New African Diaspora: An Eritrean Case Study-Khalid Koser
  • African diasporas and post-conflict reconstruction: an Eritrean case study-Khalid Koser
  • Modes and Potential of Diaspora Engagement in Eritrea- Clara Schmitz Pranghe
  • Journeys to Exile: The Constitution of Eritrean Identity Through Narratives and Experiences-Anna Arnone
  • Eritrea goes global: Reflections on nationalism in a transnational era-Victoria Bernal
  • Diaspora, cyberspace and political imagination: the Eritrean diaspora online-Victoria Bernal
  • Please forget democracy and justice: Eritrean politics and the powers of humor-Victoria Bernal
  • Sacrificial Citizenship: The Eritrean State and Modes of Belonging-Victoria Bernal
  • “We Are the Warsay of Eritrea in Diaspora” Contested identities and social division in cyberspace and in real life-Bettina Conrad
  • “We are prisoners of our dreams”-Long-distance Nationalism and the Eritrean Diaspora in Germany-Bettina Conrad
  • A culture of War and a Culture of Exile: Young Eritreans in Germany and their Relations to Eritrea-Bettina Conrad
  • Shape-Shifting Mediascapes: Social Change and Diasporic Media Online-Bettina Conrad
  • The lasting struggle for Freedom in Eritrea-Kjetil Tronvoll
  • The African Garrison State: Human Rights and Political Development in Eritrea (Eastern Africa Series)- Kjetil Tronvoll, Daniel R. Mekonnen
  • Being Eritrean in Milan: the constitution of identity-Anna Armone
  • In Between Nations: Ethiopian-Born Eritreans, Liminality, and War-Jennifer Riggan
  • Old Sins Cast Long Shadows –Andreas Mjelva-(Master’s Thesis)
  • En-gendering theatre in Eritrea: the roles and representations of women in the performing arts- Christine Matzke (PhD Thesis)
  • Extending Sovereign Reach into Diaspora: Croatia and Eritrea in Comparative Perspective-Donovan Kavish (Master’s Thesis)
  • Exploring the Eritrean diaspora in Italy and in the United Kingdom-Marialibera Iavasile
  • Etc.

These papers are not widely published as they are not meant to garner attention of the Eritrean people in Eritrea or in the Diaspora-who will no doubt debunk the inaccuracies contained in these narratives.

This is also, not by any means, an exhaustive list of all that is being churned out about Eritrea the various information launders-“anthropologists”, “journalists”, “photographers”  “humanitarian workers” etc. etc. who claim they just happened to stumble on Eritrea…A quick look at their Curriculum Vitae will provide the readers of the many other publications and presentations on Eritrea. It is mind boggling and unprecedented.

They write about EPLF’s narrative on Eritrean history and why it should be discounted, but the irony here is that members of the EPLF have yet to pen a single article or book to tell that story. Eritrea’s gallant and unparalleled struggle has yet to be told in full. So what narrative are they complaining about? They have also distorted Eritrean identity, culture and nationalism. These western “experts” and “researchers” also write extensively about the “militarization of Eritrean society”. Interesting concept coming from the very descendants of those who introduced “militarism” to Africa and who themselves rely heavily on their own military capacities to advance both domestic and foreign policy agendas.

The themes are similar-the notion is to undermine every single budding Eritrean institution. Each one has been targeted for attack and ridicule.  First we were told that the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) was “anti-intellectuals”, and then we were told that the EPLF and now the Government of Eritrea were “afraid of intellectuals”, and then we were told that they were incapable (not qualified) of governing Eritrea etc. etc.

Since they do not know the people of Eritrea (marrying an Eritrean does not mean they know what every Eritrean needs or wants), they have relied on their anonymous “informants” and the scalawags to craft the narratives on Eritrea. Let us take a look at some of the comments made by these scalawags, no doubt these sentiments are repeated often amidst the carpetbaggers.

Andeberhan Woldeghiorghis in his self-serving book, “Eritrea at a Crossroads, a narrative of Triumph, Betrayals and Hope” sheds some light on his perception of the Eritrean “intellectual” and his contempt for the people of Eritrea-the peasants-who sacrificed life and limb in defense of their beloved nation. Woldeghiorghis was one of the many Eritreans from the Diaspora that joined the armed struggle for the liberation of Eritrea. He writes:

“…During the war, most of the country’s tiny educated elite had joined the liberation army or fled into exile. Eritrean professionals, technicians, mechanics and workers left home and Ethiopia in droves to escape repression, joined the armed struggle of seek refuge in the Middle East, Europe, North America, and Australia. Many graduates and students from the University of Asmara and Ethiopia, European and US universities flocked to the Field to fight for liberation…In the field, certain senior members of the EPLF political bureau viewed successful university graduates with deep apprehension and disparaged independent thought. They felt more at ease and self confident in the camaraderie of the dropouts, the less schooled, and half baked…Having committed ‘class suicide’ in order to integrate themselves into a predominantly peasant liberation army and overcome subjection to constant suspicion, surveillance and subordinate positions in the leading organs of the Front and the army, Eritrea’s revolutionary intellectuals were instrumental in the internal capacity of the EPLF…”

Class Suicide?

But the contempt for the Eritrean people seems to be the one thing the EQL have in common-other along with self-aggrandizement, greed (power and money).
Elsa Chyrum seemd upset that the Eirtrean Diapsora was able to garner over 200000 signatures in protest of the illegal, unfair and unjust US-Ethiopia engineered sanctions against the State of Eritrea. This is what she wrote in her NED funded HRCE[5] site:

“…There has recently been a concerted campaign to rally Erirteans in diaspora in protest against the Security Council sanction imposed on Eritrea…Diaspora Eritreans sent more than 200,000 petitions through e-faxes, emails and telephone calls to all members of the UN Security Council and the Foreign Ministries of their respective countries….It is possible that some of these Eritreans believe their own propaganda. It is possible, also that some of the illiterate citizens who signed unread petitions also believed that the sanctions affect Eritreans in Eritrea…”

No Eritrean is illiterate about issues concerning his or her country. Ms. Chyrum ought to know that it was not just the tiny “elite” that brought Eritrea’s independence and defended Eritrea’s sovereignty-it was the act of a conscious and patriotic peasant population. It is the same population that is fighting the sanctions that her funders engineered.

Simon Weldehaimanot is another one that seems to find discomfort in the ordinary Eritrean… evident in almost all of his writings-I find them to be nothing more than a collection of other peoples (almost all of them westerners) thoughts and opinions, as he has none to offer that is original or his own. The rule of law is a subject that is a staple in almost all of the papers, books etc. written about Eritrea and Weldehaimanot had the audacity to write in several of his papers that law is non-existent in Eritrea. Not wanting to abide by the rule of law does not mean they don’t exist. Eritrea is one of the few countries that had/has its own written customary laws for centuries and the people of Eritrea are recognized for their lawful behaviors and cultures.

Weldehaimanot seems to have a problem with the status of judges in Eritrea. He writes:

“…In reality, judges are public servants in terms of their salary and employment conditions. Thus, they have no prestige as in other countries…”

A little education is indeed dangerous…

Seems Weldehaimanot uses forums availed to him to advance the causes of the EMHDR and EYSC, as opposed to presenting academic and scholarly papers on the issues he presumes to know about. He says:

“…Trade unions and civil societies are two of the many missing institutions in Eritrea…”

In case he missed them while he was busy searching for notoriety and prestige elsewhere-the National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students, established in 1979, the National Union of Eritrean Women, now celebrating its 35th Anniversary, and the National Confederation of Eritrean Workers established in 1979 are examples of grassroots organizations in Eritrea, right under his nose. I suppose for Weldehaianot, if they are not linked to one of the “false fronts”, they are not legitimate…or worthy of notice by the “elite”…

So who can blame the “false fronts” and carpetbaggers when there are scalawags that are willing to do their bidding and belittle and undermine their own kind?

Weldehaimanot’s contempt for Eritrea and its people, especially the Eritrean Diaspora that has been the target of several campaigns by his groups, is evident in this excerpt from this, one his many monologues:

“…Even though the size of this group tends to be exaggerated by agents of the PFDJ’s regime, estimating from the size of the crowd at PFDJ’s events, they are significant in number…Their support of the PFDJ’s regime emanate from different considerations one of which is material interest and opportunism…Some of these are too gullible or sheer opportunists…”

Opportunists? This coming from someone who has literally lived on the backs of the Eritrean people and US tax payers. It was the magnanimous government and people of Eritrea that afforded him his education in Eritrea and South Africa in his early days. Once he was recruited by Dan Connell and Paulos Tesfagiorgis, other “opportunities” came his way and has had the privilege of having his entire law school education paid for by the Government of the United States through its many tentacled organizations and scholarships. While Eritrean American’s born and raised in the United States are struggling with college tuition and others are saddled with exorbitant student loans, this scalawag wants to insult the Eritrean Diaspora for not following his ilk…

Finally, let us take a look at an excerpt from an article to see what Milkeas Mehreteab, a “journalist”, a scalawag awarded by the “false fronts” for his treasonous activities against the State of Eritrea, says about the Eritrean people:

“…Taking in to account the low level of consciousness, education and over all awareness and the docile law abiding and meek nature of the majority of Eritreans, it was not difficult to spread and plant rumors, defamations and false accusations against the Independent press journalists. In a tribalistic and ethnicity sensitive and regional crazy society like Eritrea, the PFDJ cadres start dispersing rumors and MISTR (secret) about the journalist’s ethnicity, family background and genealogy…”

Eritrea is known for its harmonious and respectful culture of ethnic and religious tolerance. From where I sit, it sure sounds like this scalawag is suffering from a case of debilitating inferiority complex…

To conclude the series, “Eritrea-the Carpetbagger and Scalawags”, in this sitting the author endeavored to present prima facie evidence for the assertions being made about the repeat offenders in the Eritrean political scene and hopes that it will raise the consciousness of the impressionable youth-who are the main targets of the propaganda today. There is much more that can be said about the carpetbaggers and scalawags, but this will suffice for now…

Allow me to end with this from Jay Faber:

“…With help from Ford, Rockefeller, Gates and Soros, imperial civil society is admittedly a formidable foe, but not an invulnerable one. Built on a foundation of fraud, the power of moral sanction they have hijacked can effectively be turned against them. While false fronts are able to dominate social media, they do not own our minds; they are merely social engineers operating under false pretenses that we can reject at will…”

From where I sit…They could all use a healthy dose of humility, lest they really begin to believe themselves….The carpetbaggers and scalawags are no match for the conscious and resilient people of Eritrea.


Photo: Sophia Tesfamariam and Eritrean Officials

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5 Responses to “Eritrea: The Modern Day Carpetbaggers and Scalawags”

  1. Alem

    you can say this, you can say that but the reality is simple. Eritrea is the poorest country and the biggest prison cell in the world, because of the failed policies and draconian rule of a tyrant (ISAYAS AFEWERKI). After twenty four years still no constitution, no elected government , no democracy no freedom and no hope.
    Do not get it confused, a stand against tyranny, dictatorship and failed policies is NOT a stand against Eritrea and its people, rather it is completely the opposite, it is a firm stand in support of Eritrean people and our country.
    By the way thank you for introducing us to the courageous people and organizations who sacrifice their precious time and effort in support of our Eritrean people and mobilizing our people to topple the dictator ISAYAS and his criminal gangsters.
    Awetn selamn nhzbi Eritrea and down fall to the tyrant.

  2. i wonder if this woman believes on what she writes. she has never lived in Eritrea, she is using the freedom of speech given to her by western democracy, where as pple bck home are muzzled ,harassed,degraded, arrested and even killed by the mafia regime that follows rule of the jungle.she must be in the pay role of isayas and his crony. but she must knw that there is a limit to our pple’s patience! we will not tolerate here nonsense for long.

    1. Alem

      Dear Keren It makes you wonder to see some of this air heads defending the ruthless killer ISAYAS (not the Eritrean people) with everything they got and I wonder if they are from another planet. Unlike most of the air heads though, this woman has to defend her sole employer the tyrant dictator (not the Eritrean people) because that is where her pay check comes from and it is her job.
      It is like a lobbyist for a cigarette manufacturer, they know cigarette is a killer and they know it is a very toxic product which can ultimately kill ,but since their pay check comes from it, they defend it with everything they got. They stay away from the product and they safe guard their families and friends away from it but they do defend it anyway.
      It might be part of her employment benefit, to keep her family members from the modern day slavery (agelglot), and to move around the country with out any restriction and with out (menkasakesi), and to keep family members from jail.( Very impressive perk)
      I am sure you heard her shocking heartless interview about our tragic loss of our brothers and sisters in Lampadusa, and like I said she will write and say any thing to defend her pay check.
      Money can make some people do and say evil things.
      Do not pay that much attention to people like her and don’t stop writing.

      Awetn selamn nhzbi Eritrea and graveyard for the dictator.

  3. Alem

    Justice and an answer to prayer delayed does not mean denied.
    It will not be too long before we see the criminal ISAYAS and his criminal gangsters answering for their heartless crimes against our people.

    Related BBC news “Two top Khmer Rouge leaders have been jailed for life after being convicted by Cambodia’s UN-backed tribunal of crimes against humanity.Nuon Chea, 88, served as leader Pol Pot’s deputy and Khieu Samphan, 83, was the Maoist regime’s head of state.They are the first top-level leaders to be held accountable for its crimes.Up to two million people are thought to have died under the 1975-79 Khmer Rouge regime – of starvation and overwork or executed as enemies of the state. The regime sought to create an agrarian society: cities were emptied and their residents forced to work on rural co-operatives. Many were worked to death while others starved as the economy imploded.During four violent years, the Khmer Rouge also killed all those it perceived as enemies – intellectuals, minorities, former officials – and their families”

    Awetn selamn nhzbi Eritrea.

  4. Eritreanborn

    Liar Alem kidane aka aida the old disgruntled woman from tigray ethiopian. I see your doing your job well of trying to demonize Eritreans again. Your mean spirited attacks will do nothing to us continue… but i think your handlers should consider your hourly wage.. because your copy/paste propaganda is losing its luster.

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