Dan Connell and Martin Plaut Embarrassed at SOAS London Seminar on Eritrea
By Alula Abraha,
The first of a four part series of seminars on “Eritrea” has just concluded. It was rather a seminar on mythical and imagined Eritrea. It was more of an Eritrea-bashing performance played by Dan Connell as a lead actor and the notorious Martin Plaut as a supporting actor. There were also a couple of stuntmen positioned across the room and were meant to gloss the old tired/expired propaganda circus. The whole exercise was desperate, futile and self-defeating that ended up banging itself against the wall.
With a touch of a typical old colonial attitude, the whole set-up of the seminar felt patronising, to say the least. One can’t help but feel that aura of a desperate attempt to re-create the old colonial mindset where a couple of “know-it all” old colonial-masters labouring to spin stories out of context (ignoring simple facts) and portray a message in a totally different light to suit their ulterior motive and/or their cheap political agenda. One way or another and in this day and age, the guys on the panel seem to be the last people on earth to think that anybody would fall for their newly coated, but old, trick. It was a futile exercise, doomed from the get go but I’ve to admit anyone would have fallen for that if that seminar was delivered a century ago.
Desmond Tutu had once described such an old trick that were used even by the western own missionaries pretending to be religious but only as a cover for the end product. Colonialism as an end that justified the means. Tutu described the manner the west had tricked the indigenous population like this:
“They asked us to close our eyes to pray & when we had opened our eyes, we had the bible but they had our land.”
But since ‘you can’t teach an old dog a new trick’, the same old trick is being recycled now-a-days. But one can’t discount the blending new breeds of dogs with brand new tricks.
However, in this day and age, it’s a futile exercise simply because the digital and information age has closed down on the information gap. In her book titled “The Chavez Code“, Eva Gollinger couldn’t have put it better when describing those new breeds of dogs. When comparing dirty jobs performed by the notorious CIA in the past with the ones now being out-sourced and done by a rather presentable looking creatures as those on the panel ( Pseudo-journalists, corrupt pressure groups and aid lords), she simply puts them as: “the same old dog but with different collars.”
The other motive of the seminar seemed to want to create a momentum for the remaining three more parts to be performed by none other than known anti-Eritrean elements, particularly Meron Estifanos. The “I didn’t do it for you” author, Michella Wrong, is also lined up to do it for us this time. As for the Meron, What I would have advised her if I were her lawyer is …..”You Do not have to say anything but anything you say will be used as an evidence.”
From testimonies of evidences coming from many trafficked individuals as well as those held
hostages in the concentration camps in Tigray that she seldom pretend to be shedding crocodile
tears for, have been implicated her both directly and indirectly. The whole exercise couldn’t have
gone more wrong after they had started off quite terribly. Even some gullible and naive Eritreans that had, in the past, given the benefit of the doubt to such a very organised and concerted propaganda campaign to blight the image of Eritrean have since switched sides simply because of the arrogance and attitudes that had stifled challenging views and facts that needed explanation.
The arrogance continues to this day where the organisers usually make a very predictable decision by parading only a group of known anti-Eritrean elements on the panel, who are hell bent on undermining and sabotaging any socio-economic progress made in the country by either lobbying for unfair and unjust sanction against Eritrea and its people or sleeping with the enemy that has made “regime change” as its #1 dream agenda.
The actors and actresses that play such a carefully orchestrated game have the support of successive US/UK regimes but absolutely rejected by Eritreans of all walks of life. In one particular cable correspondence exposed by wikileaks, it revealed that the US willing to bankroll and support discussions aimed at targeting at the government of Eritrea and by extension the interest of its people using Eritrean faces if possible.
However, the books, “AGAINST ALL ODDS” and “I DIDN’T DO IT FOR YOU” published by Dan Connell and Michella Wrong, respectively, are believed to give these non-Eritrean faces at least the acceptance by the public courtesy of their books. Hence licensed as alternative faces to lead seminars. I wish they know there is one fact that “YOU ARE NOT A HERO LIFE”(U’R NT HERO 4LIFE).
Such business of misrepresentation of people goes back a long way in history. We’ve had similar groups of puppet entities even during the days of colonization as well as slavery before that. There were Africans who had assisted the Europeans in their notorious slave-trading business as they were collaborators during the colonial era and now during the neo-colonial days that vetted puppets leaders hired to serve the foreign policy interest of the three major Western nations (US, UK and France), all permanent members of the UNSC. Such collaborators are also no different from the inhuman and cruel human traffickers and organ traders that enriches themselves at the expense of our brothers and sisters suffering in Siani and Libya.
It has now become an open secret that the woyane concentration camps in Tigray had been the source of Eritrean and Ethiopian victims of human trafficking in Sinai and Libya. All the illegal human-trafficking ad organ trading business originates from the notorious concentration camps in the Tigray region of Northern Ethiopia. Under intense pressure and oppression, the very victims and family of victims have exposed to the world last October.
Such an elaborate and highly organised human trafficking business is long known of its origin by Meron herself but had chosen to play poker on the lives of thousands that she knew had been supplied from the very Tigray camps. The mafiosi minority puppet regime of the Weyane in Ethiopia and in collaboration with the self-styled “Eritrean opposition” groups, controlled by the former, are implicated in these sorts of hideous crimes that have always been supplying their Bedauine customers in Sinai deserts and Libya for ransom or for their body parts.
Now the cheeky part of the Dan con man’s seminar is that its title was on “migrating, migrants and migration“. But what we witnessed was a relentless effort on the part of Dan-Plaut to absolve the criminals that are up to their neck deep in the business of trafficking innocent Eritreans from the “refugee camps” (aka ‘concentrations camps‘) in Tigray.
Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty part of the seminar last night.
1) The seminar was squeezed into a tight 2 hour slot and was supposed to have started at 5pm and end at 7pm. 2) It was delayed by 25 minutes but no apology was made. Typical!!!
3) By then, the time has struck 5:25pm when a lady introduced the seminar’s chair Martin Plaut and the speaker, Dan Connell. The former opened the seminar by reminding the audience to be more patient in listening to Dan’s talk and tolerating his opinions even if not agreeing with it. And he lectured us a little more on Democracy in a rather condescending manner.
4) Away goes Ato Dan Connell at around 5:30pm
5) He went on and on nearly an hour with his carefully selected slides but with touches of more conflicting and contradictory points. It was quite visible seeing him labouring to explain some of the contradictions while leaving the others hoping that the audience won’t notice. How wrong he was. By the way, Michella Wrong was amongst the audience perhaps drawing a lesson or two from the massive cock-up that Dan had put himself into.
Let’s see some of the issues that he chose to ignore, the wild claims he made and also the contradictions in his talk.
5a) He deliberately never mentioned nor recognised the issue of illegal occupations of Eritrean sovereign territories in flagrant violation of international law and agreement that has his own country as the guarantors of the implementation of the agreement.
5b) He seemed to deliberately make it appear as if that is irrelevant and he doesn’t seem to be reminded how successive administration of his own country were on record for attempting to change the EEBC ruling against the rule of law.
5c) He contradicted himself when he said that he had interviewed a few Eritreans that had served in the National Service program and relieved within the 18 month limit before 1998 Weyane’s war of invasion on Eritrea.
5d) He had totally ignored that as a factor for the extension of the unlimited extension of the National Service program that is deliberately holding Eritrea hostage in a deliberately orchestrated no-peace no-war situation by his new friends in Addis Ababa, aided and abetted by his own country, US.
5e) He said he had visited and interviewed Eritreans in Tigray concentration camps as well as in Sudan and Egypt. But his accounts doesn’t add up with the cries and opinions made by the victims and family of the victims held hostages, particularly in Tigray region of Ethiopia. The so called “refugees“, who had bravely claimed on Meron’s own Radio program, to have been held hostages there and had been on record telling us that the local Tigrayan economy is highly dependent on the activities and funding thrown at the refugee camps.
So much so that for every Eritrean in Mai-Aini camp alone, there are at least five local Tigrayans residing in the same camp on permanently basis pretending and encouraged to be registered as Eritreans by the corrupt ARRA. Dan pretended to be the last person to be aware of such Mafiosi practices. Never mind his skewed interviews that he claimed to have made, it beggar’s belief why he couldn’t even recognise their desperate voice that they had managed to broadcasted via VOA, ESAT and then their own YouTube broadcast that prompted the Meron camps to stay relevant after she finally decided to broadcast the voice of those distressed “refugees” held hostages almost 6 days after they had spoken to her on the phone from Tigray. That is also in public domain. He can’t ignore it unless he wants to put wool over our eyes.
5f) He tried to make it seem as if the Eritreans in Ethiopia are happy by displaying pictured that suited his agenda. Particular picture that got our attention is that of a group of 5 or 6 girls in Adi Harush, (deeper southern in Tigray) posing for a pic just outside a small shack that he said was a dormitory where they had to be monitored as they are usually vulnerable to traffickers that hover around their camps (presumably as a big money fetchers potentially sold as slaves to the barbaric bedauine). He never elaborated on that simply because he can’t afford to upset his new friends engaged in a business of Human-trafficking and organ-trading.
5g) Dan was quickly diverted by the notorious Martin Plaut distracting the audience by throwing wild allegations saying, “how about the Eritrean general?” Dan had to bite the Plaut bait and tried to re-enforce Plaut’s attempt to divert the crimes of his Ethiopain friends and their Eritreans collaborators. But Dan quickly absolved himself by adding that he has no evidence on to back that allegation.
There were many more contradictions to mention but most of his errs were eloquently pointed out in the Question and Answer session.
After enduring more than an hour of his nonsensical marathon talk, full of an obvious agenda-driven propaganda, we were finally allowed to ask questions in the remaining 20 minutes of the session.
Two questions were asked before he replied.
Q1) The first Question emphasised on how he can justify ignoring two main facts that we all have at our disposal.
Q1-a) The US cable correspondence exposed by Wikileaks that clearly enticed Eritreans to cross the border so that they can receive US immigrant Visa. The migrant visa was later afforded only to “anti-regime youth” and since they couldn’t find genuine ones as much as they wanted, they had decided to abandoned them there and Weyane’s corrupt ARRA began to vet its own Tigrayans for migration pretending as Eritreans. The US regime, who seem to have shown unhappiness that remittance by Eritreans abroad was amongst the highest in Africa at 11% and not conducive with US plan to undermine Eritrea’s economy, it had later decided to pass a resolution in the last marathon of sanctions it had illegally imposed on Eritrea. Amongst the detail of the sanctions it proposed against Eritrea and its people was geared around the strangulation of Eritrea’s economy by targeting Eritrea’s mining industries as well as trying to infringe on the right of Eritreans to send remittance. Both failed miserably. But they decided to turn a blind eye on their puppet regime openly engaged in cruel Human trafficking and barabric organ trading business.
Q1-b) Why he decided to put wool over our heads by deliberately ignoring the voice of the “refugees” held hostages in Tigray, whose words are now in a public domain including VOA, ESAT and much later on Meron’s Radio show that is funded by anti-Eritrean element?
Q-3) Next in line to ask a question was a rather older man with unbrushed goofy hair and a beards. His question was as messy as his appearance indeed. He asked the relationship between the history of human-smuggling business by EPLF during the struggle for independence. Don’t ask me which magic hat he brought out that sort of rabbit. But this is what we call in Tigrigna, “Mai zeyTa’Amet Hasot“. Very laughable that even Dan had to pass that sort of wild allegation. I think the Goofy headed geezer is the only person on earth to believe his own wild allegation.
Verdict: I think such an imagined wild allegation were meant to divert our attention away from the beefy part of the issue. That led to the 4th question where Martin Plaut’s dictatorship and intolerance of differing ideas had been exhibited.
Q-4) A young Eritrean lady sitting at the back was given a chance to air her opinion. She did so quite eloquently by challenging Dan and the panel of deceit and attempt to spin stories out of context while ignoring glaring facts out there in the public domain. The dodgy tyrannical chair of the
Another young Eritrean man challenged Dan why he chooses to ignore the occupation of our land and why he’s in a business of blighting the image Eritrea. He also challenged all his wild allegations that directly contradicts with successive UNDP report on the MDG. Eritrea is one of the only 4 countries in the whole world that includes the Asia-pacific countries that has achieved most of the millennium development Goals and projected to meet the rest before the 2015 deadline. This is while we had been under illegal occupations held hostages in a no-peace no-war condition and coupled with illegal sanctions imposed against our people. However, despite US/UK pouring Billion$ every year almost to the tune of 70% of their annual budget, the puppet regime of Ethiopia has nothing to show for it. The UNDP has doubt if Ethiopia can meet even half of the MDGoals by 2050, let alone by 2015 deadline. It’s NOT like the aid agencies and poverty lords put it as if the donated money is being poured into a black-hole that has nothing to show for it. No!!… The fact is that the money is poured in only to pay for the protection of their investment assets (such as dispossessed fertile farm Lands, unregulated tannery factory, etc..) and their foreign policy interest there. Such business dealing is no different from that of an owner of an ordinary company in the west business hiring and paying security guards so as to make sure his properties, assets and business interest are looked after everyday after the owner goes back to his home and family after his day’s work at the company.
seminar, Martin Plaut, who had tried to lecture us on “tolerance of differing opinions and on democracy” before the start of the seminar, had himself been found to be the one who was unable to stomach the factual point that the Young lady (Saba) had put across the panelist that were already made to look so irrelevant and detached from reality. The hypocrite moderator suddenly decided to interrupt Saba while she began to substantiate her claim with powerful facts that made the panelist look like sitting ducks unable to challenge it.
After enduring Dan’s condescending and unsubstantiated lecture for over an hour, the least one expected from the hypocrites was to spare, at least, a minute to the young lady that was armed only with the truth and facts. True to his nature, the hypocrite chair asked for the security to eject Saba out of the seminar. All she had asked was to finish her points by backing it up with facts. A Nigerian brother came in and escorted her out but, in a typical Eritrean defiance against injustice, the rest of us in the seminar made sure we carry on Saba’s fight for justice to be heard.
Even looking back in history, it’s the hypocritical western regimes who are known for shifting the goal-post or not keeping their promise or true to bend the rule of law on several occasion. As for Eritreans, it has always been engrained in our culture to abide by the rules. “Ziban Higi” and “FeriHe AmlaKh” are examples of that is engrained in our culture. The same cannot be said for the western regimes who say one thing but does the opposite in a typical hypocritical attitude of “DO WHAT I TELL YOU TO DO, NOT WHAT YOU SEE I DO.”
Q-5) Another young man, a talented artist and web designer was given a chance to ask. He began by emphasizing that “we were all Saba” by saying that the vast majority of the people in the seminar and elsewhere share the same passion as well as the frustration of our sister that was unfairly provoked and expelled by the tyrannical chairmanship of Martin “Pol” Plaut himself.
The young man carried on from where our heroine Saba has been interrupted and finished what the panel didn’t want to hear. No sooner did “Pol Plaut” thought he had scored 1-0 victory against Eritrea than this young lad getting up and turning the scoreline in Eritrea’s favour. Eritrea lead 2-0 in an instant as its die-hard enemies certainly looked doomed so early in their own game. It’s not knew for Eritreans witnessing similar sorts of blatantly unjust act perpetrated against its people but every single one of it had been not only rejected by the people but also defeated all the successive unjust and illegal acts.
It might have taken us decades to undo the damage made by the John Foster Dullas’ arrogant US foreign policy interest at the expense of the very basic human and democratic right of the whole people of Eritrea but we have since learnt a lesson that similar nature of attack on the very basic rights of Eritreans are defended right on the spot within seconds.
Little did the little tyrannical Martin “Pol” Plaut know that he was actually producing dozens of Sabas at an instant at the very moment he expelled one Saba. Her crime was for emphasising on the insult to our intelligence as regard to the whole orchestrated presentation that is leading to their set agenda and a great travesty to the truth. Her eloquently put question was too hot to handle for the panelists with a pre-meditated agenda. They were not there for discussion and not ready to hear opinions different from that of their set agenda to lead the meeting only in the manner they had wanted to do so. That’s is extremely dictatorial attitude and clearly and deliberately unaccommodating of different opinions. At least, the former Pseudo BBC journalist found out that his effort to silence Eritreans was proven futile, to say the least.
Then came one individual, who is known in the social networking sites as well on anti-Eritrean media circus almost on a full time basis with a single agenda of engaging in the business of bashing Eritrea at every opportunity. I’m afraid I won’t mention her name and there is no prize for guessing who the person is. She is always up and down, huffing and puffing and tooting her vuvuzela on any available medium making a fool of herself. She is also good at impersonating in order to threaten and/or blackmail people to submission. She had turned vicious by the day and there is no way that I would honour this wasted individual by mentioning the name here. Besides, I don’t quite remember the point she made. It’s too elementary and irrelevant to remember but I’m sure she is on record going lalalalla…..
So Q-6)????…..is skipped for reason of irrelevance.
Q-7) Then came another young man (Mussie). He began by indicating that the content of the long talk given by Ato Dan and coated by ato Martin had indeed met his expectation. It was followed by a laughter following the young man’s comment that suggested the talk was simply and clearly an agenda-driven. Apart from being elementary, irrelevantly and totally detached from reality, the report contained several anomalies and contradictions and this young man eloquently pointed those contradiction to put the panel off guard and through their paces to explain themselves.
One of the point that Mussie had put across the panel was actually taken from Dan’s own statement where he claimed to have interviewed a young man who had done his national service duty in the very 1st round back in 1994/5 and admitted that the guy he claimed to have interviewed was relieved after his 18 months duty following completion of his duty as opposed to his suggestion that the “youth are now-a-days unable to accept the indefinite time limit on a NSP”.
But Mussie challenged him how it escaped Dan’s mind that the circumstances of the times he claimed in his alleged interview is totally opposite to that of the circumstances of that Eritrea is right now. We were in peace then while the NSP was conducted within the normal 18 month period but now our country is being deliberately held hostage to a ‘no-peace no war‘ situation by the US and their regional runner dogs. Mussie showed surprise how that sort of a world of difference in the country’s circumstances hadn’t even seemed to cross his mind. Or did he really take us for idiots that we wouldn’t notice that.
Besides, who the hell is he telling us that he actually care about our human-right more than we do for ourselves. If he had indeed cared, he would have, at least, included in his folders, the hours of interviews those “refugees” held in Tigray had given to ESAT, VOA and much later to the western funded media circus run by known anti-Eritrean elements like Meron et al only after their agenda to muffle their opinions had actually exposed them for who they really were indeed.
Q-8) One other geezer in his late 50′s or early 60′s introducing himself as ‘Solomon’, had the floor. He made a big mess out of his opportunity by claiming (another wild one) that “we Eritrean don’t know anything about Badme that Shaebia had secretly agreed to offer Weyane in the early 80′s in return for allying against Jebha“. Another irrelevant fairytale story and irrelevant issue. As if we hadn’t had enough of the hour long tiring propaganda rained on us by Dan himself, another fairytale and irrelevant story was added to it by another imbecile. But such a childish argument by an old childish geezer with a grudge didn’t really seem to help the panel’s agenda. They looked so embarrassed as that sort of wild claim does actually contradict to what Dan Connell had written in his book titled “Against All Odds” in the early 90′s. But the foolish man is probably living in his own bubble, I don’t think he would get that he was the butt of the joke when the crowd laughed at his wild and irrelevant allegations. But One young lad was so irritated when this idiotic man had repeatedly tried to speak on our behalf. The young lad made a timely and brave intervention reminding the man to speak for himself and that nobody had given him the authority to speak on our behalf when he repeatedly kept on saying “we, we Eritreans……”
He also claimed that trafficking money is exchanged in Eritrea and that government officials drive land cruisers to prove that. The whole crowd laughed at another wild claim by this idiotic man. The guy must be a certified madman. But he wasn’t without a support when a white lady sitting right to my left faintly whispering…..”It’s true” in what sounds as a support to his wild fairytale stories. It was only me sitting on her right and Yodit sitting on the right of me as well as perhaps Liya sitting in front of me that might have heard the timid whisper of support. But there was definitely also another one, her Ethiopian boyfriend sitting to her left that had obviously heard it.
I couldn’t help it but asked her, “what is true?!”
She replied, “what he just said”.
I asked her “how did you know it was true?!”
Her reply was full of arrogance saying, “because I know”.
Again I asked her the same question, “How did you know, I mean where is your evidence?!” This time her reply was funny, saying, “my gut feeling tells me”.
I gave up after that and realised I was speaking with the wall. But I couldn’t help as I told her “what else does your gut feeling tell you?!”
From the look of it, it couldn’t have been her gutless “gut feeling” that had told her that by any stretch of imagination. She must have been brainwashed by her Weyane boyfriend sitting next to her. She can’t be blamed as she had probably grown up believing in fairytale stories that it ain’t a surprise that she would believe anything now until she finds another boyfriend telling her another fairy stories. Her boyfriend had never raised his hands to ask a question at any point in the seminar nor had he tried to defend his girlfriend. He must be one of those weyane’s who had arrived in UK on a dodgy resettlement program pretending as Eritrean, while the real Eritreans are being trafficked, by the weyane and their SOLD OUT “Eritrean” puppets in exile, to the bedauines in Sinai and Libya.
On the fairytale story that the old man put forth as deliberate distraction, Dan himself had sheepishly conceded saying that he had heard the allegations in the past but is yet to see any evidence to back up the allegation. That was like the déjà Vu “Badme, the deathbed of the opposition” all over again.
Q-9) A lady by the name TirHas asked about the law of the sea and what the possibility of Ethiopia’s alleged claim to have access to the sea via Aseb as their own. I find that question totally irrelevant to the topic of discussion but again it was her right to ask any question she like. I think it was a wasted opportunity. No matter what the law of the sea says, the Weyane won’t abide by the rule of law just as it is still renegading on international law for nearly 12 years now by continuously being encouraged to occupy Eritrean territory in violation of the final and binding EEBC ruling that has the EU, AU, UN and US as a guarantors of the agreement. You can’t possibly talk about rules of laws in the same breath as the Mafiosi entity of the Weyane and their handlers in Washington.
However Dan had never answered any of the questions quite convincingly, even on the wasted “Law of the sea“?!
Martin plaut had intervened by trying to lure Dan and lead him into his kind of wild discourse he had usually claim in some of his twitter-feeds by saying ….”how about Eritrean generals in the trafficking business.” But Dan said that he had also heard about it but he quickly added that he had nothing to collaborate that with concrete evidence. Martin “Pol” Plauts train hit the wall. His desperate last ditch effort to create traction to his already failed attempt to create a momentum via his twitter feeds full of his crazy lies and wild allegations, had finally hit the deck. I hope the London SOAS experience would serve as a lesson for Martin “Pol” Plaut as Canada had been for Dan CON-nell.
Dan must have learnt a lesson or two from Eritreans from his Canada seminar. So much so that I have seen a huge difference in him now and his previous Chatham House event on Eritrea back in December 2012. He seems to be realising that Eritreans ain’t an easy push over and knows very well that Eritreans never kneel down except when praying and shooting. This London event is his second experience in a space of just over a year. He knows he has to be extra cautious when sitting in front of Eritrean and present wild fairy tale stories as if true.
“Evidence” is the word he used more often even though some of his “evidence” in his power-point presentation were his own, as an interviewer. However, even that cannot be verified by a third party nor by the party that has allegedly been interviewed and on what condition. He can’t expect us to buy the interviews he presented, particularly the ones said he conducted with the so-called “refugees” held hostages in the Cash-cow camps of Mai-Aini and Adu-Harush in Tigray Camps. He can’t ignore the fact that he can’t get their true feeling while being interviewed under siege and under the prying eyes of the weyane securities that were giving Dan CON-nell protection and logistics. That is why the CON-nell had continuously chosen to ignore the true opinions of those same “refugees” through extensive interviews they had done by phone with VOA, ESAT and even on the EU based “Radio-Erena”. How is it possible that he ignores those interviews given in more freedom than those given to him under duress. It’s all an exercise of spinning stories to serve their cheap political agenda.
There was another issue that Dan and Pol-Plaut showed disagreement in public. Dan advocated for national service program that helps builds infrastructure and public services “but it has to be limited” he said. He also hoped that the US would re-introduce such a program back in his own country of the USA. Pol-Plaut intervened and expressed his disagreement on the national service program in Eritrea and on Dan’s suggestion in his own country. Pol-Plaut’s disagreement was in accommodated quite “democratically” while his earlier action against Saba’s earlier disagreement only helped expose Pol-Plaut’s inner tyrannical character.
After all Who is potty Martin “Pot” Plaut to decide what is good for us?! He can have his opinion but he should remember that nobody in Eritrea takes notice of his idiotic self-serving opinions on Eritrea and its people. A typical mentality that still seems to have that lingering colonial mindset.
Scene-3 (an informal chat over a nice cup of tea after the seminar)
There was a heated debate everywhere. Yacob and myself were talking to a lady that was responsible for organising the seminar, and on his way out, Dan rudely interrupted our conversation asking if he had satisfactorily answered our question. I said that he didnt even attempt to get anywhere near answering the question and I also mentioned to him that he had similarly evaded my question over a year ago during his Chatham house talk on Eritrea.
He shrugged his shoulder when I told him it was the same issues raised by Saba that he evaded today. But the loner, Pol-Plaut, that nobody wants to talk to tried to drag his mate saying that “they are going out for a drink”. But, by then, I had him cornered on another controversial topic that he had touched in his presentation about the Weyane camp of “Shimelba“. His claim that it had since been demolished for reasons not known to himself
during the seminar. But he had also tried to suggest that the refugees there were “mostly resettled” in US. I told him that his claim was a blatant lie probably trying to lure more Eritreans on a false “dream“. I told him that he seems to be the last person in that seminar to know the reason why.
When I told him that the the proximity to the birder with Eritrea and that 50-200 Eritreans were slipping back to Eritrea every night under the cover of darkness following their discovery that they were duped. The Shimelba camp was almost deserted that the Weyane had decided to close it down simpy because it was not profitable and causing a great PR disaster to the US and their weyane puppet ally. I told him that, unlike his skewed self-serving interviews, my source of the info is the voice of the Eritrean themselves whose revelation is out there in the public domain. I had already told him that he was ignorant of that for deficiency of the Tigrigna language. Hence being the last one to know the very fact that he has to wallow in his own self-serving interviews (if we have to actually call it an interview for a start).
However, after he heard me, Dan surprised me by pulling out a new rabbit out of an empty hat. He said quite enthusiastically pointing his finger at me, “But but but, there is another reason for the demolishing of the Shimelba camp” He said. Unable to wait to hear it, I asked, “What is it?!” He said, “I have heard that they are using the area as a strategic place for the military training of the Eritrean opposition.”
After trying to pull my leg with another new bait dangling for mento bite, I laughed my head off thinking to myself, “pull the other one!!!”
I reminded him that he claimed two reasons for the demolishment of the Shimelba camp. One was that he had no idea but the other one was that most of them were resettled in the US. Big lol. But I asked him why he didn’t mention that in his long speech at the seminar. He shrugged his shoulder again. I challenged him if he thinks that it would upset his new weyane friends to exposing that. Not the fake strategic military reason for shimelba’s obliteration but the real reason. Honestly speaking, I really get to like this Con artist, Dan CONnell. He is, not only, arrogant but also very idiotic to believe that Eritrean would fall for his trick, much less to rise up for the cheap (but juicy) baits that he usually dangles at.
We met Saba after that and spoken to a couple of the securities that were used to eject our sister. We explained to them of the whole scenario in the right perspective and in context. One was particularly very conscious and conscience African brother you can feel his blood boiling when he found out that their service is being used to aid and abet the policies of the neo-colonisation. He suggests to me I see this video titled “12 days in slavery” to understand more about the modern day slavery that is still going on and affecting you and me”. He is an ardent reader and I had suggested to him to read Kwame Nkrumah’s book titled “NEO-CONLONISATION, THE LAST STAGE OF IMPERIALISM” published in 1965 while he was still president of Ghana. I told him that everything he puts there is happening now like a prophesy that the CIA and the MI6 had to overthrow him from power the following year. I told him that our feeling for Saba today is the same feeling for the Ghanaian almost 50 years ago. He got ejected (overthrown) because of opinions he stated in his book that the former colonial masters (now neo-colonial master) couldn’t tolerate in the same way that the dictatorial chairmanship of Martin “Pot” Plaut decision to eject our sister just because he can’t stomach the truth in her opinion. Out struggle began in the seminar and continued after it and will remain continued no matter where, when and how.
This scene is from Dan CONnell’s previous seminar he conducted on Eritrea in Chatham House. I’ll present it as I had put it in my diary then. Enjoy the drama!
Scene-0 (back to the future)
In the run up week to the 12th anniversary of the signing of the comprehensive peace agreement, earlier this month, I received information that the Chatham house was inviting Dan Connell to speak on Eritrea on Thursday, the 13th of December. As usual, I booked my name online. When I got there a little late from work, the man looked through the list but couldn’t find my name. I showed a proof of my booking from my phone right there and then. He couldn’t deny the confirmation I had received was from his own email. The event organiser at Chatham House, Tigist Amare, was standing there listening to our conversation. In fact the original invitation was sent to be by Tigist. This time, he gave me another excuse. He said, “it’s only for policy makers and strictly for invited individuals only”.
I was buffled. I told him, ” it’s unacceptable and it ain’t my first time attending. I had even attended event on Somalia issues let alone on issues concerning my own country.” I asked him, “How is it possible that me as an Eritrean is not allowed to attend on issues concerning my own country while non-Eritreans can?!”
He tried to assure me that he will invite me on another occasion. I told him it was scandalous and unacceptable and I was about to go back but the man relented and finally allowed me at his own discretion. From the way he was talking to me, I assumed, up until that point I walked into the seminar and took my seat, that there ain’t any Eritrean in there. How wrong and naive I was?!
Apart from the odd foreigners, the place was full of full-time league of Eritrean quisling (if I can kindly borrow the term from Sophie TM). I was so enraged at the ploy to keep us out while stuffing the event with anti-Eritrean elements including two Ethiopian Embassy stuffs of which one is named Berhane. The only hagerawi that was in Dan’s Chatham house seminar that I can identify at the time was our own Ambassador Tesfamichalel (wedi Gerahtu).
When I later meet the eye of the man that tried to stop me at the door (despite the fact that I had booked my place in advance) I shook my head at him in disgust. He knew why. At the end of the meeting, I demanded explanation but typical to an English manner, the staff there unreservedly apologised for their unprofessional conduct and the selective invitation of only anti-Eritrean elements. I don’t think the apology was genuine but it worked to calm me down. There was no doubt in my mind that it was a deliberate ploy to keep us away on issues concerning our country. I later learnt that a couple of young Eritreans were also deliberately turned away.
The major scandal apart from Dan Connell talking incoherently and irrelevantly, shunning out the issue at hand while busy peddling on hearsays and exaggerating, he made a lot of silly remarks that only helps expose himself. Chief amongst his hateff-teffs were when he made his opinion on the rumoured arming of civilians up to the age of 70. He made the people laugh when he said he knows somebody’s grandmother that is also armed. It was a Typical sensationalist diversion from issues that matters most. Besides, knowing he is from a country awashed with fire-arm, I- for one- hadn’t expected him to look surprised on this issue of arming Eritreans with arms to protect themselves and the villages. Actually, it seemed to have clashed with his wild propaganda line that goes, “Eritreans are against their government.” Even, for argument sake, if his arrogant claim were to be taken for granted, how does it add up that a government would arm it’s own enemy?!
He also speculated and mumbled at why 10 years after EEBC ruled that Badme is Eritrean, Isaias Afewerki didn’t choose to attack Ethiopia to liberate the occupied Badme.
During the Question and Answer session, I had to make an intervention and was given the chance by the then chair, Dr Reed. I said that that was said could have been challenged but that it would only be a disservice to the main underlying issue that is deliberately and conveniently being swept under the carpet.
“12 years ago, yesterday on the 12/12/12, the two countries signed a comprehensive peace agreement on the final & binding nature of EEBC ruling. The guarantors at the time, the EU, AU, UN and Madeline Albeight on behalf of the US were present and was agreed that the party that refuses to abide would be, at least, economically and diplomatically sanctioned. It’s scandalous that Nobody had raised the issue of the responsibilities failed by the main player, the US in particular that is holding the region hostage to a no-peace no-war situation. In fact, despite the fact that Ethiopia has, for over a decade, held peace in the region hostage, it wasn’t sanctioned. To the contrary, the party that accepted the ruling, Eritrea, is the one that had been sanctioned while the regional brat is being spoilt with over 70% of its budget every year,…. besides enjoying diplomatic cover by successive US and UK regimes.
Our Ambassador also had a chance and eloquently put everything into the right perspective that refuted Dan-Connell’s talk as an absolute disservice to the truth.
What had really irritated me the most was the Weyane embassy official huffing and puffing in his desperate effort to recycle the dead Al-shebab propaganda. They found out that they were indeed the only one to mention it during the whole seminar and seem to be the only ones in the room wanting to believe that tired propaganda.