Brigade Nhamedu, The Bonafide Movement By Yonas Araya
Brigade Nhamedu – The Bonafide Movement
For Isaias, it has always been about saving his skin and staying in power for life. During the Armed Struggle, fearing someday they might challenge his totalitarian mindset, paranoid Isaias locked up in dreadful dungeons or executed thousands of indigenous and innocent Eritreans who, out of the goodness of their hearts to serve their people, left their comfortable homes to join the EPLF.
Again, after entering Asmara, fearing someday they might challenge his regime with ideas or prevent him from ruling the country for life, Isaias set out to control the minds of the youth or exhaust them mentally and physically by confining them in trenches and subjecting them to hard labor, or to empty the country of the youth by coercing them to leave their country in droves.
By doing so, Isaias felt he and his totalitarian regime were invincible and home-free. As a result, when in 2011, Libyan youth, by hundreds of thousands, challenged his bosom buddy Muammar Gaddafi and tossed him out of power, no doubt, Isaias may have blamed Gaddafi more than he blamed the youth for Gaddafi not having the foresight to empty his country of the youth long before they rose against him.
But regardless, it never crossed Isaias’s mind that, someday, indigenous (ደቀባት) Eritrean youth, organized as Brigade Nhamedu, would find a way to ignite a bona fide storm to cripple his long, bloody arms and send shivers down his spine from faraway lands, and quake his foundation akin to the Libyan youth did to his bosom buddy, Gadhafi.
Undoubtedly, now, after over fifty years of feeling invincible, for the first time in his political life, Isaias feels things are out of his control; he feels deeply frustrated, disillusioned, embarrassed, and completely helpless and doesn’t know how to deal with or counter the bona fide popular movement by the heroic indigenous (ደቀባት) Eritrean youth, known as Brigade Nhamedu.
Meddling in the Internal Politics of Sudan:
At first, as a hired hand of the UAE, Isaias supported and supplied Sudan’s paramilitary group known as RSF (Rapid Support Force) with armaments. At that time, Isaias wanted not only to settle scores with General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan but also was fully confident the RSF would defeat the Sudanese military very quickly and set up a government fully obedient to him in Sudan, especially in the parts of Sudan bordered by western and northern Eritrea.
During that time, he did not want any force to hamper the quick victory he anticipated from the RSF. So, by appearing impartial and caring for the well-being of the Sudanese people, he not only suggested that the Sudanese people solve their problems themselves, but he literally ordered the world not to interfere in their internal affairs.
However, Isaias soon realized his wishes could not come true not only because the RSF failed to score the quick victory he was anticipating, but worse, contrary to his planes, the tribes of eastern Sudan, the Baja, and others demonstrated unflinching loyalty to al-Burhan and the Sudanese military and stood against the RSF, and did not want the RSF to set foot in their region.
Isaias wants to remain on good terms with the tribes of eastern Sudan for a good reason. For decades, he established and maintained strong relationships with tribal leaders of eastern Sudan more than he did with Eritreans. He has always wished and planned meticulously to take refuge in northern Eritrea during his final years and has been counting on those tribes to keep him company in his time of need. As a result, at this crucial moment in his life, he does not want to do anything that angers them.
Isaias knows and expects to be kicked out from Adi Hallo and Asmara someday. His biggest fear is getting killed like a dog, like his bosom buddy Muammar Gaddafi, or apprehended and brought to justice.
He also knows he cannot go into exile like Mengistu Haile Mariam because he won’t feel comfortable or safe anywhere. He also recognizes the Eritreans cheering him as fair-weather friends and that once he loses power, all, including his ardent worshipers, will turn against him in the blink of an eye. Not only that, he understands they will also worship his successors with as much vitality, no matter how diametrically opposite his successors will be to him and his legacy.
(Note: if the future favors Tigray, the same people attacking the Tigrayans with derogatory words will claim their Tigrayan bloodline in the blink of an eye.)
But now the uncertainty in Sudan, Ethiopia’s new sentiment, and the rise of the bona fide movement of the indigenous Eritreans known as Brigade Nhamedu are all giving him nightmares. As a result, against his previous promises to and deals with the RSF and UAE, forming a separate government, which both he and the eastern Sudan tribes approve and trust, has become a matter of high urgency for Isaias, even if doing so will dismember Sudan into many parts, as long as the faction that controls areas from the city of Kassala to Port Sudan will be one that will guarantee his safety during his time in need.
On the other hand, his three partners in crime, Yemane Gebreab, Yemane Gebremeskel, and Hagos Ghebrehiwet, agree with Isaias’s plan, but only partially; they, too, want the eastern part of Sudan, including Port Sudan, to be controlled by a friendly group, but will never want to take refuge in the Sahel region of Eritrea and waste their final days in caves. They plan to fill their bags with millions of dollars and move with their family to comfortably live in some African countries by bribing African authorities.
Although he portrays Eritrea to his people as poor, which needs constant donations and slavery-like so-called national services from its citizens, Isaias has stashed away billions of dollars that his people know nothing about.
Out of the billions of dollars annually, Isaias earmarks and expends millions to elevate his stature and beautify his image inside and outside the country, including through bribery. For example, the primary task of Beyene Russom, Isaias’s ambassador to Kenya, is corrupting or bribing Kenyan authorities with millions of dollars. But this isn’t new with Isaias. During the armed struggle, the EPLF had far better freedom to move freely in Sudan than the ELF. The EPLF corrupted thousands of Sudanese authorities with bribery in the form of money, cases of alcoholic drinks, and women.
So now, if one hears any African authority praising or elevating the image of Isaias, one is advised to follow the money – one can almost be assured money is behind it.