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May 2007 - Celebrating Eritrea's 16th Independence Day
 
Congratulations Eritrea
16th Independence Day
 

 

Asmara Eritrea - May 22nd 2007

 

The morning is reserved for several meetings in the Saba Building and Asmara Intercontinental Hotel and for feedback by e-mail.

In the afternoon I meet friends at the Housing and Commerce Bank and families of my wife.

At 17:00 I start looking for the carnival. I think it's better to find the place where they will start, to make pictures in the daylight instead of waiting for the parade to pass the main street in the evening. The idea is very rewarding. The participants are a bit bored of waiting. They are either in a bad mood hiding their faces, or happy with all attention and either posing or making jokes. Most of them are are in a very good mood, resulting in a lovely set of pictures.

I can walk in circles around and through the show, without disturbing the audience, nor the participants. There is an atmosphere of kindness, happiness and pride. Even the policeman riding ahead of the parade is happy with a picture.

Only one time someone is asking me for a permit. You do not need a permit to make pictures, but he may think I am an American, and is just nagging. I show him a copy of an old letter of recommendation, in Tigrinya, with a lot of stamps. I might just as well have taken him to the first person with any true authorization to have him clarify his demand for a permit, but showing him my paper works faster.

Some trucks are covered with paintings reminding the spectators of what they are celebrating. The time when villages we looted and burned and its population was killed with the intention of discontinuing Eritrean identity. The parties involved did not need a permit. They only needed the approval of the United States of America.

Independence was stolen stolen from the Eritreans by the UN in 1952 (when US pressure to safeguard a strategic position in the Red Sea prevailed above justice). But Eritrean determination won the final battles in 1991 after thirty years struggle. Without any significant military of financial help from outside, with the joint opposition of two superpowers, and mother nature (frequent droughts).

On one of the trucks (the one ridiculizing the position of the UN in East Africa), Feshaye, the brother of my wife, is dressed as a UN peacekeeper. The message is clear: The UN, dominated by US influence, is doing virtually nothing to speeds up the Eritrea-Ethiopia peace process (and is respecting the conclusions of the Algiers Peace Agreement and the decisions of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission).

Instead, the UN explicitly views this matter as a bilateral problem of Eritrea and Ethiopia, that should be solved by negotiations. The agreements were already negotiated in Algiers, but it is Ethiopia that is making on-going endeavors to frustrate the peace process, asking for 'clarifications' and new negotiations.

When I have seen and pictured it all, I walk back to the main street. It is getting dark by now, and the public is gathered, four or five lines thick on the sidewalks of Harnet Avenue. Stalls are selling shoarma, candy floss and snacks. 

 

Police motorcycle - Asmara Eritrea.

Police motorcycle - Asmara Eritrea.

Acria Administrative Zone contribution to the carnival - Asmara Eritrea.

Acria Administrative Zone contribution to the carnival - Asmara Eritrea.

Carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Today's investment: tomorrow's prosperity - Carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

"Today's investment: tomorrow's prosperity"
Carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

'Our People, One Heart' - Carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

'Our People, One Heart' - Carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

'Hi, mister camera!', carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

'Hi, mister camera!', carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Representatives of all Nationalities, carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Representatives of all Nationalities, carnival
 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Representatives of the Eritrean Orthodox Church, carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Representatives of the Eritrean Orthodox Church
Carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Carnival, 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Scenes of sacrifices  of the 1961 - 91 war of independence, carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Scenes of sacrifices  of the 1961 - 91 war of independence
Carnival, 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Representatives of all Nationalities, carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea. 

Representatives of all Nationalities, carnival
  16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

UN, front office of US Foreign Affairs, carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

UN, front office of US Foreign Affairs
Carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Female member of Eritrea's Defense Forces, carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Female member of Eritrea's Defense Forces
Carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Representatives of Eritrea's youth, carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Representatives of Eritrea's youth
Carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Representatives of Eritrea's youth, carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

Representatives of Eritrea's youth
Carnival 16th Independence Day - Asmara Eritrea.

 

 
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