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Dear E-SMART family.

I am an Ethiopian by birth but my roots are in deep in Eritrea. Like many people from our region I have spent most of my life in exile dreaming one day I will return to my roots. For the last 12 years I am a U.S. Citizen. I do not know any thing about politics, I am illiterate. But politics has affected my life since I was born. Since childhood I have closely followed events in our region. Based on my years of observation I am writing few comments that may enhance to the upcoming planned global rallies, and I am attaching both writings to you. If you feel they will help to advance peace and securities to our region please pass them to appropriate bodies or publish them. I have no any motives or ax to grind except desire for peace to the region. If you feel they are not appropriate for the cause, then I understand. However, if you think this is an idea that can advance the cause peace and development to the region by making the upcoming Rally, feel free to edit, delete, add, and change it to make it relevant to our common cause. This is my contribution to peace in the region.

Posters idea for Rally
* I am not an artist, but I have some idea about poster that may have a dramatic visual effect for Eritrea during the Rally. I wish some Eritrean Artist could draw the map of Africa as background and Inside it across it the map put Eritrean map, with a bold writing “Eritrean Crucifixion by UNSC” , and around it thorns in the shape of the UN emblem of olive branches. Mount or nail the whole map on a cross, with the names of the countries at UNSC listed with their voting records to make placards for demonstration. The same art can also be used for a T-Shirt design. Putting Eritrea as a sacrificial lamb on cross could stir a lot of emotion to many people especially Christians. Christianity, as religion is based on the Crucifixion of Christ on the Cross, for the sin of mankind. The UNSC Sanction on Eritrea drama fits well the story of Christ as sacrificial lamb for the sins of others.

I like the idea of manipulating the olive branches in the UN logo. It's memorable when something recognizable/familiar is manipulated. I think your vision for the poster is quite clear and also quite a dramatic statement. I just wonder if it would offend Christians (though I realize you can't please everyone) or if it adds another element, religion, that confuses the message and takes focus away from the unjust sanctions.

Personally I do not feel the use of the cross would create any controversy, in fact I believe using it may enhance Eritrean image among many Christians who are being bombarded by fake ‘Christians’ that associate Eritrea as heathen land and their leaders as cruel tyrants that persecute ‘Christians’! I have met several people who are being fed through their churches and been asked to pray and collect money for the persecuted Eritreans Christians every week. There is an active and vigorous campaign against the State of Eritrea by these people. The misinformation campaign on religion about Eritrea is even greater than the political campaign against the country. I feel this demonstration could serve to smash the two campaigns, the political and the religious one. It may serve to kill two birds with one stone. The Cross is one of the most recognized symbols in this planet, and Eritrea and Ethiopia happen to be the earliest people to recognize this symbol and we celebrate the cross by designating a special national holiday ‘Meskel’ .The fake Christians should be told and need to recognize that fact, we do not persecute Christian or Moslems or any other religions. We have lived for thousands year as good neighbors in peace, unlike many places where religious conflicts common.
I tried to look the posters that you have, but there was no link to it. As I indicated earlier I am not an artist. I have tried to draw my poster idea and I will post it that you can improve it by adding the UN emblem to it.

UN Sanction on Eritrea and Peace in the Horn of Africa

A sanction seems good lucrative business for UN because it raises a lot of money to implement it, beefing its budget and justification for its existence. It was reported the former Secretary General Kofi Annan had personally enriched himself and his family during the Iraq sanction while millions Iraqi children died prematurely for lack of basic medicine. Since the imposition of the UN Sanction on Eritrea, so far, Switzerland has rushed to implement the unjust sanction by claiming Eritrea threatens efforts for stability and peace in the region. According to Swiss government ministry, “in the past ten years Switzerland has only exported mine destruction charges, worth SFr60, 000 ($57,100), to Eritrea”. The UN action targets directly Eritrean poor peasants, farmers, women, schoolchildren, who will die because of lack of detecting and defusing mines buried in the Eritrean fields because of colonial wars that span almost a century. It tells a lot about the wisdom of those who levied the “Smart UN Sanction”. Like many, I also believe UN sanction against Eritrea is unfair on fabricated evidence, data collected by UN, and prosecuted and judged by UN without presenting the evidence to the accused party or for the rest of the world. Therefore, I oppose it on moral and simple decency of human consciousness and fairness. As a long time observer of the region and someone directly affected by events in the region, I would like to put my two cents ideas to make the special day February 22, 2010 Rally a success.
Lessons from our History

What is missing?

The World wide demonstration on February 22, 2010 against the Unjust Sanctions of the United Nations imposed on Eritrea, covers three continent of the world, from Melbourne, to Geneva, Washington D.C. and San Francisco. From what I can read from responses from Ethiopian Review the voices of true Ethiopians, Somalis and Eritrean is encouraging. This issue could be a turning point to the people the horn of Africa, and the rest of Africa, indeed to all oppressed people throughout the world. It has a potential to steer humanity away from the world of wars and ignorance to peace, justice, enlightenment and stabilities. Just like the period after Mussolini invasion of Ethiopia in 1935.

What is missing from this great planned demonstration of our time? Clearly, the movement needs a leader that people can trust and identify with. It also needs expansion of the locations to include Africa and Asia to make it truly global.

Observations and Suggestions

1. For Eritreans there is no doubt their leader is President Isaias Afeworki, but for others, Ethiopians, Somalis, Sudanese and other Africans, may not think to so., still for many Ethiopians, he is the visionary leader of our region. To those who believe in paper ballot, when Eritreans had a chance to vote for a referendum to choose between independent or staying with Ethiopia in 1993, Eritreans voted overwhelmingly (99.98% ) for independence of Eritrea lead by Isaias Afeworki. To me that is good enough for a mandate casted by the people for the man that will lead their new independent country. If Eritreans did not trust him, then they simply could have decided not to vote for independence under his leadership. Such things happened in our backyards in Djibouti in 1960s and 1970s, known at that time French Somaliland. In those days the people had several referendums to choose between Independence or remain colony under France and the people chose to remain colony. Can we say the people of French Somaliland crazy or stupid for not seeking independence at a time when people in Portugal and Spanish colonies were waging wars to liberate their countries? Not at all, the people must have considered all situations including their people that will lead them after the independence. President Isaias leadership skill and vision was tested and proven to Eritreans through years of struggle. Sure we like the fancy election systems they have in developed world, but are we truly ready for such systems? At this time of our history, he should be the leader. Surely, the man is too honest, he does not want to conduct a fake election and declare himself the winner like many leaders in Africa today. Then if he did such election, what good is to have an election that results genocide like in Rwandan, Burundi, Congo, Kenya or Ethiopia, where thousands of innocent citizens killed and imprisoned? What is the use of writing a constitution, if you do not follow it? What is the use of having an election if you are not going to accept the result?

This week African Head of States voted Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia to be their spokesperson. I said congratulation, but African Heads of States do not represent the people of Africa. The majority became leaders, through guns and others by stealing ballots, except Ghana and Senegal may be South Africa. If we the people could choose our leader who can represent our interest, a leader who protects our lives, who build schools for our children, who built clinics, hospitals, and not prisons, freely then we have to see their resume to decide. To day in our region, the Horn of Africa President Isaias has the best résumé. He has experience leading his people in time of peace and times of troubles. He has the longest years of experience, nearly 50 years in the struggle and leadership, stood against big and small powers of west and east, his position is firm and his vision is big and clear. The other prominent leader in the region is Prime Minster Meles Zenawi. His resume started as high school student at General Wingate (Scholl run by the British Council) as Legese Zenawi when he must have been infected by the virus of tribalism ignited and participated at the tribal divisions between Tigrians, Amharas and Oromo students. When DERG closed the university and order students to go for Zemecha, he joined the TPLF. He changed his name to Meles may be to gain political opportunity; he was Albanian Communist then a Socialist and now ultra capitalist. He must believe war is a good profitable business, started border war with Eritrea, Genocide in Gambela and Ogaden, Invaded Somali and engaged in killing and starving people of Somalia, starvation in the east, starvation in the west, starvation in the south starvation in the north, starvation in the center. He could have ended the border tension with Eritrea with a stroke of pen; the document of the final decision is at his desk. Instead of young Ethiopians build the economy, they are driven into the armed forces carrying guns shuffling them one war to another, terrorizing and killing women and children in all corners of the country. He is in Somalia; he is out of Somalia, in and out with no end to it. He thinks selling the land that our ancestors fought and kept for us for generations to come is a good business. Ethiopians do not have guaranteed ownership to their plot of land they farm or graze their animals for a day, yet foreigners can lease land almost free for 99 years! He dines and wine in London, Washington, Tokyo or Brussels. He believes begging, more important than working, so it is clear he is not a good choice for the workers, men, women and children of Africa. Therefore, my fellow Africans, am I wrong to suggest President Isaias to be the Leader of our continent? If we have to hire a representative who knows his people, eat their food, drink their water, walk and breathe the air that they breathe, sleep and die with them then President Isaias must be the man we need to hire.

2. The planned rally seems to me is limited only to countries or regions that are traditionally misunderstood the plight of our people, and in many cases the sources of our problems. We should not exclude especially the African continent. There has to be one in Asmara and Addis Ababa, Khartoum, Cairo, Nairobi, Kampala, Mogadishu, Tripoli and South Africa. The UNSC members claim the Sanction was an ‘African initiative’. So what better way of dispelling the myth than to give Africa the center stage on the global rally. The people in Asia should also participate especially those slaving and dying in Middle Easter countries.

3. I call Ethiopians, residents of Addis Ababa to join the Peaceful Rally right at the Headquarters of the African Union, the place where the Sanction resolution hatched. Let Mr. Jean Ping Spokesperson of AU that his resolution designed to sanction their Eritrean Brethrens is unaccepted to them. He should not sit in Addis and plot against them, because Eritrea is Ethiopia and Ethiopia is Eritrea. Tell him his not to set up a new Auction Trade of African Slaves in Addis Ababa. He may not realize that OAU foundation is to liberate Africans and not to sell them for the highest bidder. He and other foreigners in the country may also not realize that Addis Ababa or Finfine as some Ethiopians like to call it is our holy city where thousand innocent Ethiopian shade their blood during the Italian invasion. I call specially the youth of Ethiopia, my Alma mater Addis Ababa University students to lead the demonstration. The ground you are walking the Sidist Kilo campus is a hallowed ground. It is the place the two brave Eritrean brothers Moges Asgedom and Abraham Deboch tried to assassinate Fascist General Graziani. The Sidist Kilo Monument ‘Yekatit 12’ is a tribute made to remember those residents in Addis Ababa murdered by Fascist Italy. Your campus is a holy ground where Berhane Meskel, Wallelgne, Marta Mebrhatu, Tilahun Gizaw and my friend Girmachew Lema walked before they sacrificed their lives, to the cause of the oppressed people of Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, South Africa, Vietnam etc. I understand things have changed a lot when the University was known, Haile Selassie I university, back then when we demonstrated the government sent police with clubs and tear gas. Now days they send Special Forces armed with machineguns with live bullets to shoot on demonstrators. Tigrian students have special responsibilities to lead such demonstrations following the example of the first martyr of Tigrai, because your land is the next to fall under the unjust sanction. Remember Ethiopia Italy did not come to colonize Eritrea alone; Eritrea was their springboard to colonize the whole region, and this new tactic of putting sanction against Eritrea is plot against Ethiopia too, no matter how much they tried to sugarcoated it. The Sanctions on Eritrea is a poison pill created and assembled in our own backyard.

4. Another significant place of demonstration should be at the UN Headquarter in New York where the Sanction allowed to pass against the Eritrean people. Let Ban Kim Moon see his dooms prophesy of war between Eritreans and Ethiopians will not happen, but instead a united front of the sisterly people is born, heralding Peace and Stability to region and not Wars and Destructions. He spent several months campaigning against Eritrea to keep his U.N. occupation army on Eritrean soil claiming as ‘peace keeper’ and repeated his accusations of Eritrea in Somalia. In 2006, Somalis had almost on the road of reestablishing their country brought peace and order in the country, when he fabricated lies claiming that Eritrea deployed 2000 armed men in Somali, inciting and ordering Ethiopia to invade Somalia, his Christmas gift to Somali people death and distractions. Tell Ban Kim Moon to leave Somalia alone and pull out his ‘African Mercenary army’ trying to impose a government on them. Somalis have told the world that they are ready to form a government that they accept and recognize, and not a government imposed on them and recognized by the rest of the world. When the Islamic Court aborted in its pregnancy by UN intervention using Ethiopian army, the leaders seek refuge in Eritrea. In Eritrea, they formed a united front to re-liberate their country, by holding a conference of all factions in their country. The conference was inclusive without interference by the host country Eritrea. Instead of joining that peace process, the UN divided Somalis into two camps, ‘moderate and radical Muslims’, UN was able to achieve the split by buying Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, to betray his blood brothers and allies. Now Sharif Ahmed is a president, has joined the choir and singing Eritrea the bad neighbor and her President the spoiler in the Horn of Africa. He travels to Europe and America begging for donations to fight Al-Qaida, but if there is any one to be blamed for the introduction of this group, he is the sole responsible person. When he aligned himself with the forces that are responsible to the misery and distraction of the Somali people, he creates the perfect environment for the Jihadists to assemble in Somalia. The parties responsible for the chaos in Somalia are the UN and its parade of transitional governments (TFG) imposed on Somali people, but not Eritrea. Tell UNSC to stop sending arms to Somalia and inviting Al-Qaida to have peace in the Horn of Africa.

5. Finally to the Diaspora population residing in Europe, Australia and America, Asia and Africa if we miss this demonstration regardless of our political or religious persuasions we are missing to be part of history of our time, off course with the exception those who are and hope to profit from the misery of our people. We can all participate wherever we may be, large and small towns. Remember from our history, Zerai Deres was alone when he challenged Fascist Italy in Rome. To those who will participate, I suggest some of us carry the portrait of President Isaias, to let the rest of the world see, what he looks like the person that we chose to follow. This is not to create a cult figure, but to show the world that we are proud supporters of his vision for our region, a vision of independence, peace and prosperity. For several years, the international media has been busy at tarnishing the image of Eritrean President as if he is the new Saddam Hussein of Africa, who gassed his people and let starve millions, forcing young people to serve in the army etc. Religious fanatics are using Eritrea to raise billions from churches and mosques by writing fictitious stories about religion persecutions in the country, under his leadership. This has to stop; we do not want religious or any kind of wars in our regions, we have original and true religions that kept us together as good neighbors for millenniums, let them take their Crusaders and Jihadists elsewhere or better nowhere.

Pray for Peace and Rain for our region.

My message to President Isaias Afeworki

1. I have read and listened to almost all the interviews you gave throughout the years to national and international news organizations, and I am truly impressed by your observations and visions of our region in particular and the world in general. I appreciate your keen observation and visions from the long interviews you gave last year to EPPF and Ethiopian Review concerning the relation between Ethiopians and Eritreans. I believe the cooperation between the two people is being restored, and the recent cooperation among Diasporas populations of the two countries is moving to a healthy direction and I have no doubt in my mind, in no time the benefit of cooperation of the sisterly people will bare its fruit towards bringing peace and prosperity of our region. A few weeks a go I also read in Ethiopian Review that you had a conversation with Ato Elias the Editor In Chief of Ethiopian Review Magazine. He reported that you want Ethiopians to be serious in liberating their country and that is absolutely true. However, I believe Mr. President you have to be serious too. The stage is ready for you, step up and take the leadership of our continent. It is your right and obligation to assume that role. Our Continent Africa is starving for so long for a leader of the statue and wisdoms of Haile Selasse, Gemal Abdul Nassir, and Kuame Nkrumah, the founders of the Organizations of African Union. Since the passing of those wise leaders, replaced by the like of Idi Amins, Mobutu, Mengistu and Ziad Barre, forming club of dictators the people of Africa are bleeding day in day out. Death from starvations, wars and disease has become the usual instead of the exceptions, throughout the continent. So you see Mr. President it is your destiny and responsibility to represent the Continent to be the spokes person. Hold the baton and be the Conductor of the New African Orchestra, and play that sweet famous music of freedom, so the people of Africa too sing, “Free at Last, Free at Last, Thank God Almighty We are Free at Last!” . Mr. President you have the opportunity and the perfect platform, lost opportunity can not be recovered.

2. I do not know what your plans are for February 22, 2010, but believe deeply your participation will give the rally the legitimacy and the maximum exposure around the world. I suggest you make a major speech equivalent to the speech given to the League of Nations by Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia in 1935 in Geneva, when Italy invaded his country. On February 22, make the speech to the world from Asmara, Queen of Sheba’s Stadium (The legendary queen of Africa). I don’t know if the of the stadium name has changed since I knew it last. But use that name even it is for that day, to tell the world that this new Eritrea has deep root in antiquity that goes to the Biblical time. I was told the legend that Queen Sheba gave birth to her child by the River Maybela. It is a legend, but it has a lot of currency value. Ethiopia is exploiting this historical legend for political purpose against Eritrea in so many ways, and so many people believe it, even though the ‘3000 years of history’, most of it if not all belongs to Eritrean people. Invite the people of Eritrea to participate in this history holy gathering with their people around the world. Let every Eritrean nationalities parade to the world with their beautiful traditional clothes, Moslems and Christians united as one nation. Let the Tabots come out of the Orthodox Churches, Let the Azan call prayers throughout Eritrea and let Lutheran and Catholics churches ring their bells calling their members for prayers to the Almighty for peace in the world. Let the world see the true religious freedom in the country. Let the world know Eritreans were Christians and Moslems when the rest of the world did not know any thing about religion. Let the world know Eritrea is stretching her hands to Egziabher/ Allah facing the unjust and unfair sanctions imposed on her. Invite the diplomatic representatives of various countries. Invite the international media the BBC, Algezira and VOA to cover the event along ERI-TV live broadcast to the world. The world need to know and understand the rally against the U.N. unjust and unfair resolution is not a petty project of the Diaspora but the message comes direct and deep of the heart of African Continent.

3. I know you are a great speaker, but let me suggest few things you may like to consider in preparing the Great Speech to the world. In your message to Eritreans, Ethiopians, Somalis, the African continent and the world at large, address only the Unjust Resolution of the United Nations. Forget to blame every individual, agency or an organization, who grinded it, who baked it or cooked, who is behind or in front or the side the UN Sanction, it is not that important in my humble opinion. The media likes petty things and ready to twist every silly remark you make to mask the real issue. The ultimate responsibility lies on those who voted for the unjust sanction, focus to give answers to the false charges levied against Eritrea. Let the world hear and make the judgment or the condemnations. The five permanent members of the UNSC are equally guilty, the four who voted for the Sanction and the one which abstained and the others who voted for big or small countries. By washing his hands, history did not absolve Pilate’s guilt when the Jews and Romans crucified Christ based on fabricated and false charges. Those who brought the false charges and those who voted are guilty, except Libya that opposed it. Today Eritrea is being used as the sacrificial lamb to the sins of others, and it is calling her God from the cross of crucifixion made UNSC and nailed on the cross by UNSC. At this stage it is not Eritrean responsibility to assign what portion of the guilt goes to this party or that, any one of the members with Vito Power could have stopped it, but they didn’t. They all betrayed Eritrea equally and are all guilty, let them divide the guilt among themselves in what ever way they wanted it to be. How much of the blame goes to big power, small or middle power, let them close their door and dived it among them selves. Let every one finds its excuse, not Eritrea.

4. Mr. President, while you give the speech to the world, please give a great thanks to the people of Haiti in the Caribbean, who are right now suffering from a devastation of powerful earthquake. We the people of Horn Africa, Eritrea, Sudan and Ethiopia owe a great deal to the people of Haiti. It was the single courageous vote of Haiti in the United Nations in 1940s, which prevented the division of Eritrea between Ethiopia and Sudan, a British proposal but rejected by Eritreans. Therefore, Eritrea’s existence as an entity started or preserved by that one vote, passed by UN. It is amazing if the U.N. was fair Eritrea must have been the first country in Africa to gain its independence after Ethiopia. Nevertheless, because of the subsequent unfair resolution by UNSC against the wishes of Eritrean people, Eritrea became the last African country to declare its independence, after 30 years of devastating war with Ethiopia, which is the root cause of misery in our region. Therefore, Mr. President please pays special tribute from Africa; convey our prayers and solidarity with the people of Haiti as they go through trying times in their history. Eritrea and Haiti though far apart in geography they share a lot in common in their history of their struggle for freedom more than any nations in this planet. Haiti vote of 1946 is exemplary act to rest of the world, how they should use their vote for what is right and not how much money they get from it or what political advantage they can extract from their vote.

My best Wishes to you and Peace to Eritrea

I am writing this letter in support of Demonstration...may allah be with people who participate on this Demonstration.....thank you

mustofa adem
pune india

I really love Eritrea, the land where sno grew up and lived for 25 years, where I took my children and at a distance where I helped build the beautiful school in Massawa, the Friars Capppuccini.Desidero my second homeland to live in peace , prosperity and freedom that has earned with 30 years of war, sacrifice, and many of its young people died heroically for freedom.

Annamaria Goffi, Italy

Italian/originale version:

Amo moltissimo l'Eritrea,terra in cui sno cresciuta e vissuta per 25 anni,dove ho adottato a distanza i miei bambini e dove ho contribuito alla costruzione della bellissima scuola di Massaua,dei Frati Capppuccini.Desidero che la mia seconda Patria viva in pace,prosperità e libertà che si è conquistata con 30 anni di guerra,sacrifici,e moltissimi dei suoi giovani morti eroicamente per la libertà.

eti kulu eritreawi support against unjust on eritrea yidgfo

-tekie medhanie gebrab

I reject the sanction on Eritrea!

-Suelman Mohamed

I reject the sanction in Eritrea! IT provokes nothing, but wrong actions toward Eritrean

Saadasalah

One of the youngest countries in the world, but has come to achieve most of its potential should have been encouraged rather than false accusations.

Power to People.

Bereket