Drs. Tsegezab Gebregergis
First, let me explain to readers the meaning I attach to the term “smoking gun”.
I have used the term to refer to strong circumstantial evidence as opposed to direct and solid evidence. What the solid circumstantial and inferential supporting evidence that has led me to advance the smoking-gun supposition will be made clear in this article.
On April 26, I posted a controversial three-line news item entitled “Is the Eritrean Dictator Already Dead or on his Death-Bed?” In it, I briefly explained that the smoking gun in Eritrea clearly suggests that the Eritrean fascist dictator, Issayas Afeworki, is either already dead or on his death-bed.
It is important to understand that I posted this item at a time when rumour and gossip were spreading widely concerning whether the 76-year-old dictator was still in charge, or was incapacitated or hibernating in his secret hiding-places.
In other words, it is important to bear in mind that I posted the item at a time when there was no way of knowing or verifying whether the conscienceless and secretive dictator – who has had the habit of telling the Eritrean people shamelessly barefaced lies for decades – was alive or dead.
It is therefore very important to understand that it was in such a bizarre situation that I posed the above question and asserted that Issayas was either already dead or on his death-bed.
My aim was to alert, provoke and prepare the minds of Eritreans to follow the situation emerging as a result of the power vacuum created by the demise of the dictator.
I am referring here to the most intriguing and urgent questions that have remained suppressed and unanswered:
- If the demise of the dictator is confirmed, who will take over as head of government in Eritrea?
- Will Eritrea remain united and sovereign or will some envious and expansionist neighbours, abetted by foreign forces and internal collaborators, attempt to stir up trouble in order to fish in troubled waters and thereby undermine and destroy the fragile unity and sovereignty of the country?
- Will the transition from a totalitarian dictatorship to democracy in Eritrea be a smooth or a bumpy path?
- Could the military step in and take power in Eritrea? If so, what would be the reaction of the various Eritrean opposition forces engaged in the struggle for justice and democracy?
- What about the Eritrean defence forces: will they support the coup plotters or stand loyally with the Eritrean people?
- Will the population react passively or come out openly on to the streets and demand the immediate surrender of power to a civilian-led transitional government of national unity vested with full authority to prepare the country and its people for inclusive, free, transparent and UN-monitored democratic elections?
The Legitimate Question Posed to Me
In reaction to my contentious news item, someone who diligently follows Mdrebahri.com forwarded a question to me: What are the facts surrounding the smoking-gun supposition that precipitated me to ask the question and to conclude that the Eritrean dictator is either already dead or on his death-bed?
Let me therefore now respond to this question.
First, let me state that the Eritrean Ministry of Health reported the first cases of coronavirus (CoVid-19) infections on March 21. Nevertheless, the Eritrean dictator has been nowhere to be seen since the outbreak of the coronavirus and has utterly failed to address the Eritrean people or to provide them with clear and strict guidelines and directives in the fight against CoVid-19.
Indeed, since the merciless pandemic hit our country, no cabinet meeting has taken place to discuss and map out a strategy for tackling the killer disease and no clear guidelines or directives have been given to the population by the gangs ruling Eritrea.
Similarly, the Eritrean dictator failed miserably to appear and address the Christian population of Eritrea on April 12, on the occasion of their Easter celebration, to wish them a happy Easter.
In a similar vein, he also failed to convey his best wishes in a live broadcast to the Muslim population of Eritrea on the occasion of Ramadan, Islam’s holy month.
On top of this, as if to add injury to insult, the PFDJ gangs ruling Eritrea have recklessly and contemptuously refused permission for the landing of a plane carrying CoVid-19 supplies – such as masks, testing kits and other protective materials and tools – donated to the Eritrean people by the Chinese billionaire, Jack Ma and his Alibaba Group.
In addition, the gangs ruling Eritrea have also refused entry permits to the hundreds of Eritreans from the medical profession who are willing to help their people in the fight against CoVid-19.
The gangs of Asmara have also adamantly refused to open the doors of the crammed prisons and free the thousands of political prisoners and other prisoners of conscience.
Therefore, in light of all this solid circumstantial evidence – and in view of the fact that the dictator is nowhere to be seen at a crucial juncture when the Eritrean people are like a flock of sheep without a shepherd, exposed to all kinds of dangers – I believe I am fully justified in concluding that the Eritrean dictator is either already dead or is on his death-bed.
However, if the followers of Issayas – followers who behave and act like a herd of cattle prepared happily to follow the dictator off a cliff – are claiming, as they do, that he is still alive and in charge of the government, let him come out from his hiding-place, appear in a live broadcast and address the concerns of the Eritrean people. Meanwhile, until I am convinced otherwise, I will stick firmly to my own guns and say that the dictator is indeed dead.