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May 2011
Celebrating Eritrea's
20th Independence Day
 
Congratulations Eritrea
Eritrea - May 24 2009 - 18th Independence Day
20th Independence Day
 

 

Asmara Eritrea May 31 2011

 

In Keren I visited the Italian and the Commonwealth war cemeteries. I realize that I should not forget the Martyrs cemetery in Asmara. It is now some years ago that I visited the cemetery. Not for tourist reasons, but for something I have in common with many Eritreans. The sorrow of so many victims as a direct result of US international policies.

Why do two countries that are both among the ten poorest countries in the world, engage in a war, where a human live, or even thousands of human lives are given for what purpose?

Earlier this year I spoke to one of the Dutch Members of the UNMEE mission, who patrolled the border region. He told me that just like you sometimes meet a seashells path and hear the crisping shells, he walked on fields with just crisping bones, of the ten thousands of Ethiopian soldiers. "The Eritreans defended a large steep black mountain, and shot the Ethiopians from above. And those who were unwilling to go up to fight the Eritreans, were shot by their own troops in the valley, as traitors."

He did not tell me what happened to the Ethiopian bones. The Eritrean men and women received a decent burial in the many Martyr's cemeteries all over Eritrea. The cemetery in Asmara is now closed for the public, but through the fence one can see the many rows of graves, all with a white marble stone.

I look through the fence, and again ask myself: why? I think the Eritreans showed to much pride, the Ethiopians value regional power and dominance above all, and the US, driven by economic motives, and searching for markets for their outdated military equipment, shows no respect for human lives other than US citizens. The result is almost 100,000 brothers, fathers, sons killed, or their female equivalent.

Ethiopia is still unwilling to accept the EEBC decisions, because "the demarcation process followed by the UN is not recognized by international law". If the Permanent Count of Arbitration in The Hague is not recognized as international law, then what is? I think the Ethiopian view on law is interlinked with its violent culture, its middle age customs of plunder, and its  long tradition of grabbing more land and enlarging its territory, if necessary by military force.

Next to the Martyr's cemetery lies the Italian cemetery, with its many impressive family tombs, and enormous. statues.

At 10:00 I have an appointment with mr. Teskeste of the Asmara Grande Travel Agency. We have a drink in the beautiful garden of the Conference Hall (National Confederation of Eritrean Workers).

At 12:00 I visit Luwam and her baby Aron in the house of her parents opposite to the Cinema Roma.

Back in  Asmara I enjoy the much better climate and facilities, and the vast choice of fruit drinks.

I visit the shuq for some souvenirs. "I want to see Holland! How will I do that?" one of the men on the souvenir market addresses me. I tell him that the easiest way is to visit an internet cafe and Google for Holland. "No, I want visa. Can you help me by an invitation?" I say it is impossible.

I explain to him, that the last time I tried to invite the sister of my wife, the visa was denied with the clear motivation: "We have insufficient reason to believe that she will return" "But I will return", he desperately replies. I tell him he has to try another route, and it is impossible to help him.

He wants to know why. Nothing is impossible, but I have at least 20 family members who would love to be invited, to have their dreams come true in Holland. I ask him what is his job in Asmara. "I do not have a job" he answers. I want to know what will be his job in Holland. "I will find something" he answers. I remind him to his previous promise to return to Eritrea. He gives up.

In Bar Selas, next to the souvenir market, I enjoy a double araki and mineral water. I invite the other visitors for a drink as well ( I learned my lessons!)

In the Adulis Sports Club / Pyramid Restaurant, I have a hamburger sandwich for lunch (and a free fruit juice as a bonus!) I am not a very experienced hamburger eater. Just like in Waliku I notice that they watch all my moves. The waitress helps me out with an extra serviette to clean my fingers.

   

Entrance to the Martyr's cemetery - Asmara Eritrea.

Entrance to the Martyr's cemetery - Asmara Eritrea.

Martyr's cemetery - Asmara Eritrea.

"From the point of view of justice, the opinions of the Eritrean people must receive consideration.
Nevertheless the strategic interests of the United States in the Red Sea basin and considerations
of security and world peace make it necessary that the country has to be linked with our ally, Ethiopia"

US Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, US Secretary of State, 1952

"Ethiopia does not accept the EEBC November 26,2006 demarcation coordinates as constituting
 a final valid demarcation. In Ethiopia's view, these demarcation coordinates are invalid, because
 they are not the product of a demarcation process recognized by international law."

Seyoum Mesfin, Foreign Minister of Ethiopia, November 27, 2007

"Instead of waiting for the world to be just, we need to do our best to fight for our rights"

Anonymous Eritrean 2011

Martyr's cemetery - Asmara Eritrea.

Victims of the recent border wars, Martyr's cemetery - Senita area Asmara Eritrea.

Italian cemetery - Asmara Eritrea.

Mourning marble ladies - Italian cemetery Asmara Eritrea.

Italian cemetery - Asmara Eritrea.

Italian cemetery - Asmara Eritrea.

 

Garden of the Conference Hall (National Confederation of Eritrean Workers) - Asmara Eritrea.

Garden of the Conference Hall (National Confederation of Eritrean Workers) - Asmara Eritrea.

Garden of the Conference Hall (National Confederation of Eritrean Workers) - Asmara Eritrea.

Garden of the Conference Hall (National Confederation of Eritrean Workers) - Asmara Eritrea.

 

Dawit, Hans van der Splinter (& Aron) and Gebrehiwot - Asmara Eritrea.

Dawit, Hans (& Aron) and Gebrehiwot - Asmara Eritrea.

Ikram, Semhar, Luwam and baby Aron - Asmara Eritrea.

Ikram, Semhar, Luwam and baby Aron - Asmara Eritrea.

Catholic, Orthodox and
      Muslim religious  landmarks united.

Catholic, Orthodox and Muslim religious  landmarks united.
 View from the stairs of the Nda Mariam Church - Asmara Eritrea.

Nda Mariam church school buildings / storage facilities - Asmara Eritrea.

Nda Mariam church school buildings / storage facilities - Asmara Eritrea.

Municipality guard - Asmara Eritrea.

Municipality guard - Asmara Eritrea.

Khartoum Hotel - Asmara Eritrea.

Khartoum Hotel - Asmara Eritrea.

Dismantling the turtle - Bahti Meskerem Square Asmara Eritrea.

Dismantling the turtle - Bahti Meskerem Square Asmara Eritrea.

Pyramid Restaurant - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Pyramid Restaurant - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Asmara Palace Hotel - Airport Road Asmara Eritrea.

Asmara Palace Hotel - Airport Road Asmara Eritrea.

Ministry of Tourism office - Airport Road Asmara Eritrea.

Ministry of Tourism office - Airport Road Asmara Eritrea.

Denbe Sembel Housing Complex - Asmara Eritrea.

Denbe Sembel Housing Complex - Asmara Eritrea.

 

 
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