Dr. HabenMichael Abraha’s report on Oakland, California gathering got my attention. Professor Gideon Abay Asmerom, aka professor of Mathematics, was asked honest questions from the youth in Oakland, and the answers he gave them was prevarications. If mathematical formulas and theories are not used for real life situations, they remain algebraic gibberish. Pie in the sky does not rain to feed our people. (I am talking about the “food pie”, not that mathematical formula. Among many questions that the good professor was asked, I am going to tackle only one question at this time.

Question : Why are Eritreans fleeing or leaving Eritrea in droves? This question is a compounded question. In other words, Why are they risking their lives to be shot if they are found escaping? Why go through the unknown Sahara desert? Why sail the stormy sees of the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea? Why risk treacherous journeys? Why even ask for a refuge in Ethiopia? Why choose to be a refugee instead of a respectable citizen in your own country? Professor, the question that was asked was a loaded question. This question was not a simple algebra, it was a complicated matrix. The question was why are they leaving not where are they going? You said, Our youth are leaving because they are lured by a better standard of living in the West. Your answer lacks credibility, insults Eritrean intelligence and does not reflect with what exists on the ground. I only agree with one word in your answer; and that is “better”. Here are a few “better” pointers that reflect an honest answer to the question:

  1. They are tired of the lack of respect from their government. They want better government.
  2. The absence of freedom in Eritrea is another reason. They want to think freely, express freely, assemble freely, worship freely, write freely. They want implementation of the constitution that was drafted in 1997 by the people. The professor thinks as long as we have border dispute with Ethiopia we cannot talk about democracy or implementation of the constitution in Eritrea. I disagree. I believe if there is a rule of law in Eritrea, border dispute can be resolved by diplomacy.
  3. How about the fact that the GOE took all the economic power to itself, and yet is unable to feed its own people. Of course they want better economic future.
  4. How about the unlimited servitude of the youth. They want to serve their country, do their fair share and then want to exercise their own God given talent on their own. Their light “at the end of the tunnel” has been turned off, and therefore they are seeking better life. Professor, you know hope is essential to our lives.
  5. Speaking about hope, when the leader makes it public that, Eritreans have to wait 30 to 40 years to elect their leaders and see democracy, many will loose hope and will seek “BETTER” alternatives of living.
  6. Military dictatorship is a heavy yoke to bear. Their necks can only bear so much. And therefore, they succumb due to an overwhelming living conditions.
  7. PFDJ’s punishment is extreme. Living in fear is terrible. Can you imagine being jailed in a container? Or underground? Or in the most extreme weather of the lowlands? You don’t have to do much to be put in such inhumane prison, either. Check this slogan “Be a Pente and go to jail”. What is wrong in trying to find a better place?
  8. How about the constant harassment and the unwarranted search in the streets, on the bus, in your house to their own citizens?

Professor, I hope you got my point and I am going to stop here, ask if you want more reasons. You have the freedom of expression in the U.S. to tell Eritreans what you think, but no one has the freedom of prevarication. You are a professor, you know right from wrong, and you know good and bad and most of all you live in the U.S. to know objectively the difference between, what Eritreans are going through and what they truly deserve. Now therefore, are they seeking for a “better” life? Oh yes they are. And believe me the first place they looked for better life was in their own country, but for them, the light at the end of the tunnel was turned off until further notice or revolution. The rest is history. And they left the country in droves. A drove means a Battalion or a Squadron consisting of 1,000 young men and women a week. Go figure! In six years, and if my Math is right, the whole army of Eritrea would have left the country. Or is this a stretch! PFDJ had the responsibility of keeping this brain drain inside the country by providing better life to Eritreans or else they will lose them and eventually will lose the country.