85% * 0 = ZILCH!!
By: Haileab Luul Tesfai.
March 21, 2004

This was the only mathematics lapsus that came out of Dr. Ghideon Abbay Asmerom's seminar in Toronto last Sunday. The seminar was titled " —Fjq ‘{} ]ip LIkS-[mk –DM} " . "The lawlessness of the Woyanes and the silence of the international community".

Lawlessness, is the closest one can get to translate the word "—Fjq". But I can guarantee you somewhere in some quarters hiding behind state power centers have a fitting term to represent such a behavior when an exception is made to disregard the rule of law, defy commonsense and world public opinion. Watch out, conditions permitting, those misrepresenting themselves as agents of peace and stability, have the propensity to protect the weakened Woyanes indefinitely to stay above the law.


It was a well-attended and professionally presented seminar. I can see certain parallels with that given in the summer of 2002 by Minister Ali Abdu, then vice president of the ESYU, Eritrean Students and Youth Union. Moreover, one can clearly see our gracious Eritrea with a new generation of leaders that has a well-rounded knowledge and an uncompromising love and dedication to the motherland.


A group of ABOTAT —elders—was sitting at the front row giving the audience a more dignified atmosphere. A skeptic would say may be it is a subconscious response to March8-:) Bringing the audience close to home, one was wearing a full traditional cloth of our Muslim brothers that inhabit part of the land invaded by the mercenary Woyanes. Present were also a number of youth some of whom had been doing a good lobbing job during the Masters/Woyane aggression. I believe, Ghideon's seminar has given such groups—active or emerging—a different perspective enabling them to clear the clouds surreptitiously cast by the financiers of the Woyanes and their operatives.


In a generalized sense, demarcation or delineation is not only limited to borders, but similarly at other levels of our national endeavors or challenges, now we have a clearer and better idea of who is with us and who is against us, so to speak. Before the unfolding of events when almost everybody appearing in Dehai seems to outdo the rest in expressing his/her concerns about Eritrea, I remember reading an article about the roles of some of our learned folks. It compares to a soccer match the then roaring information campaign and the debates tackling those who had been clearly standing, spiritually or otherwise, on the other side of the border or the sea, for that matter. Dr.Ghideon was mentioned as a right or a left flank; needles to say now where the other two mentioned in that article find or have put themselves to at the present time. Despite the concocted proclamation of a new paradigm of uncertainty ---dissolution of SHAEBIA-- Eritrea has survived the well financed and coordinated onslaught by our prime enemies encouraged by the moral and active support of the knee jerks and some compromising elements. Never mind, Eritrea will flourish in the future as well with the leadership and participation of those who have not only the know-how but also the wisdom to discern our national priorities bound only with our national interests and aspirations.


The deliberations of Dr. Ghideon was organized under ten or more subtopics and lasted almost two hours. It was presented with maps and illustrations. The following –not exactly to the actual presentation –were covered.


---The evolution of the negotiations leading to the Algeries Agreement.

---The background of border treaties of the 19th century.

---The mandate of the border commission.

-- The deliberation of both parties to the border Commission.

-- The ruling of the Border Commission.

-- The official—with fanfare—acceptance of the verdict by Woyanes.

-- The procrastination of the Woyanes up to the final rejection of the Verdict.

-- Official reports of UNMEE and UNSC.

-- The official stance of the OAU, The UN, EU and The US.

-- The US relenting from its guarantor responsibilities.


One of the most interesting illustrations was how the Woyanes managed to confuse the Commission on its deliberations on the Central Zone. He contrasted the behavior of the Woyanes to that of the Eritrean leadership responses right after the official announcement of the Verdict was made. He also mentioned the childish boasting of the Woyanes on how clever they claim to be in cheating the Commission. Moreover, he stressed that the respective resolutions of the guarantor bodies and states are unanimously for the adherence to the Verdict. However, he also pointed out that almost all the reports of the Secretary General, Kufu Annan to the UNSC are biased in favour of Ethiopia.


Towards the end of his presentation, Ghideon highlighted the role of the Diaspora in facing these challenges. Among other things he stressed:

a). We have to follow closely all the developments regarding the demarcation issue.

b) Inform and actively lobby government and state officials.

c) Educate our fellow citizens who haven't yet grasped the shenanigans of our enemies who are pressing for an open-ended dialogue that leads to nowhere except relieve the Woyanes of their responsibilities.

d) Challenge accordingly those who are siding with the enemy.

e) As ever, frustrate our enemies with our unity, resolve and sustained solidarity to our people and the EDF.


After a 10-minute break the Q-A session followed. Some kind of symmetry was at work there. May be Abune Aregawi has intervened to match the number of participants in the Q-A session to the number of subtitles Ghideon had selected -:). Some are now seriously considering pleading with Abune Aregawi to give those closely concerned to handle intelligently the mess created under the Woyanes.


The first question had a slip of tongue, which in that particular instance, I believe, demonstrates the ever forgiving and positive nature of Eritreans. The participant was suggesting if we could lobby the UN by delegating such and such personalities. He named one who unfortunately has slipped long enough into the trap laid by the Anthonys and the Davids.




Right from the center of the hall, a staunch nationalist born and raised in Oromia , in his Amiche laced Tigrigna, echoed what I believe most participants would have liked to express. He said,

" Now,Standing on its legal and moral high ground, the GoE should be as firm as ever."


A couple of participants asked questions regarding the rejection by Eritrea of the appointment of Mr. Axworthy, which clearly bypasses the legally sanctioned border Commission. In his response, Ghideon pointed out that Eritrea could have no problem had Mr. Axworthy done his homework, first and foremost, by dissuading Ethiopia to abide by the verdict. Moreover, not only are the Woyanes unreliable, but also the recent vacillations, to say the least, of the guarantors leaves Eritrea with no room for the so-called good will gestures. He recalled how Anthony Lake protected the Woyanes until they came out with the alternate Technical Arrangements that was only meant to frustrate the peace process and give them time to launch the failed third offensive.


I remember after the second offensive Ghideon passionately arguing in Dehai how revealing it would have been if the GoE was to release the audio of Sig. Antonio discussions with GoE officials. That was when his (Ghideon's) fellow flank-men started to signal their calculated or/and wavering stances. What a missed opportunity to set a good example of an Eritrean spirit with no tinge of uncertainty to our young aspiring and uninitiated academics if some of our learned men had not made a sudden shift of emphasis blaming the imposed crisis on their own? How easier it would have made to tackle our problems had they pointed their pens to those who finance and instigate wars and holocausts; to those who allow aid money to displace 70,000 Eritreans, to those who.... Well, never mind, Eritrea has sons and daughters who with firmness, tact, integrity and intelligence, quietly and effectively tackle those that live or profit off injustices and miseries.


One participant called for a WWD to be organized by Diaspora Eritrean Communities. The last question was regarding the Woyanes mischievous request for dialogue suggesting that both can first start to implement 85% of the Verdict which they claim to have not objected to---in reality, meaning until Eritrea opens the door for this open-ended dialogue—Ghideon answered the question with a question.

" What is the product of 85 and zero?"

he asked the audience, motioning his pen in a math's Prof. mode challenging his students with a problem that seems to have a trivial answer, yet hard to demonstrate. Indeed, even if we know the answer is null, one wonders if it is something else, at least in the minds of the Woyanes and their masters who have demonstrated to have an incredible amount of imagination to stretch the environs of Badme to the whole border!!. If Eritrea is being asked to show how big is really small, hope they don't insist too much before it is too late.


By reducing the common grounds, which the Woyanes claim 85% to ZERO, an unsuspecting observer could conclude that it is unfair on our part or that we have no desire to make peace with the party that is now posing – also presented—as seeking peace. Even starting from their premises and claims, Ghideon, as the Border Commission had nullified the accusatorial letter of Melles released on Oct.19, 2003, simply came to the same conclusion. By taking the Mereb River, a natural border and the Eastern sector, delineated with less ambiguities off the list, what remains is the Central sector and Badme which in essence are the points of contention to which the Woyanes have now reversed themselves. So, in reality what is left to be indisputable amounts to Zero, ZILCH.

In the Q-A session there was only one voice from the women present. I am not quite sure if the marked presence of ABOTAT-elders-- made them shy or what -:). Anyhow, it was a timely reminder that we have to be psychologically prepared for any eventuality coming out of our trapped enemies. But let me add one point; this time, Eritrea will steer itself away from patching and salvaging their baby.

After an interesting 45min. Q-A session, Ghideon concluded with a couple of remarks. Once again, he brought to the attention of the audience on the need to be vigilant with our unity. He emphasized that if we guide our activities for the defense and development of our country by bringing our Martyrs at the forefront, it will be less likely that we stumble and wobble.

The stage was then left to make public announcements. The chair of the Martyrs Trust Fund in Toronto and surroundings made a brief speech appreciating those Eritrean families and individuals who have started to participate in this noble cause and thanked those who have given positive responses to pitch in by sharing in this moral and national duty.

To conclude, it's worth recalling what an official from the State Department—to be more specific, in the SD--was commenting in an interview anchoring his deceptive ship on "both sides". He concluded stating that both leaders have the same zero sum game approach --- no matter how the events have transpired; and now for the whole world to see. Never mind, a greedy gambler has no sense of lose until the last penny vanishes away. Such irresponsible elements are trying to prop up the Woyanes out of nowhere.

But if you multiply a Woyane by millions of dollars, what do you get? Zilch or another Zilch!. c--–Š, for the sake of peace to all involved, please help those sensible authorities that really matter to make responsible decisions despite the will and desire of our aspiring "Shalabis."




Wetru Awet Nhafash.

Haileab Luul Tesfai.


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