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Eritrean president describes Hollande and Merkel as ‘mentally disturbed’

The Eritrean president has lashed out at Europe for what he says is its role in economically sabotaging his country and depleting its human capital.
Isaias Afwerki was making a rare address on national television late last week as part of his traditional New Year message. Focusing on the infrastructure of the country and other projects for his country, Afeworki examined the thorny issue of migration that continues to bedevil his country.

He specifically took jibes at French President Francois Hollande and his German counterpart, Angela Merkel. Afwerki described both leaders as being mentally disturbed and that they were among those who encouraged the massive movement of his Eritrean youth to Europe.

Eritreans being the greatest historical threat to our enemies, trafficking in human beings has been used to disperse and weaken the country’s human capital. The highest priority has been given to this policy, of asylum to the Eritreans.

Francois Hollande is on record to have said almost a year ago that Eritrea was empty of its youth. This was in reference to the teeming youth who left the country to undertake the perilous journey to Europe. “What does he know? What can it do to him?” Afwerki quizzed.

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The German chancellor whiles on a visit in October 2016 visit to Ethiopia announced a significant financial aid as part of efforts aimed at Ethiopia accepting Eritrean fugitives. “He (Hollande) and Angela Merkel, all I can say is that these people must be mentally disturbed.”

The Eritrean regime is accused of huge violations of human rights and freedom of expression. The country is also at loggerheads with neighbouring Ethiopia. Ethiopia has also accused them of backing anti-peace forces behind protests in its Amhara and Oromia regions.

In a speech delivered at the 25th anniversary of the independence of Eritrea, he declared that the exodus of the youth of his country to Europe is the result of a deliberate policy fomented by the foreign powers To weaken Eritrea with a systematic recourse to economic sabotage “with the aim of creating poverty and famine”.

“Eritreans being the greatest historical threat to our enemies, trafficking in human beings has been used to disperse and weaken the country’s human capital. The highest priority has been given to this policy, of asylum to the Eritreans,” he said.

With an estimated 5,000 people leaving the country every month in search of a better life, Eritrea is one of the largest contingents of migrants risking the perilous journey to Europe.

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  1. We may hate Ato Isaisa for any reason we perceive or may have. But the expression toward those foreign powers who play any devilish double standard of high magnitude as serious sickness of political mentality is self-evidently true. Of course it is a serious sickness of those foreign powers who talk about Eritrean youth whereas they deliberately not only ignore but help TPLF for the continuation of the grave sufferings of the Ethiopia youth : mass incarceration, intimidation, torture in military and other camps, killings, fleeing the country and perish on the way. This kind of extremely ugly political and diplomatic game of the foreign powers cannot be expressed otherwise, but seriously ill political mentality that is of course deadly to the Ethiopian and Eritrean people in particular and African people in general.

    I do not think what Ato Isaias said is nothing else, but calling spade a spade.

  2. He is dictator and by no gut he can judge other democratically elected presidents…He only can compare himself with that evil the late legese zenawi.
    Even mengistu hailemariyam is better than them….

  3. T. Goshu,

    If you do not speak the language which Isaias Afeworki used for interview, ask those who do. Isias called François Hollande and Angela Merkel “mentally deranged” and not “mentally disturbed”. Whatever he called them, do they deserve the label? I don’t think so.

    In any case, why did Isaias call them mentally deranged? Because François Hollande said “Eritrea was empty of its youth”. Isn’t what François Hollande said true? And Angela Merkel? Because she recently visited Ethiopia and offered European financial assistance to welcome young Eritreans fleeing their country. Her visit to Ethiopia and the offer of financial assistance are none of his business. Isaias also accued them of being among those who encouraged the massive movement of Eritrean youth to Europe. Eritrea has no human capital France and Germany needs and they have no incentive to disperse Eritreans and weaken the country the way Isaias wants us to believe. To begin with, he has no proof to this allegation. It is a public knowledge that Eritrean youth do not need any one to encourage them to flee except the dire situation Isaias created and maintained for decades in his country. Given these facts, François Hollande and Angela Merkel do not deserve to be called “deranged”.

    By the way, I saw a striking comment somewhere on the same issue which said: “it is not unusual for Isaias to call people who challenge him deranged. Some years ago, he called diaspora Eritrean bloggers “meentally retarded” because they speculated he might have gone sick since he was not seen in public for a while. Isaias even calls events madness. A couple of years ago, in an interview with ESAT, he called the 1998 – 2000 war he waged against Ethiopia madness. He was not asked to explain what he meant by that or himself ventured to explain it. So we did not know who was the mad in that war.

    If somebody calls sane and sound people mentally deranged or retarded and if these words become his arsenal to attack people who see things differently from him, isn’t fair to suspect he might be talking about his own madness?

  4. Good job Asmana E.,

    The above translation under the title “Eritrean president describes Hollande and Merkel as ‘mentally disturbed’ came from Radio Franc Internationale. It is originally in French which the translatlator “screwed up” by omitting an important paragraph because he is partisan. On top of the omission aside, the entire translation tuned down agressive language Isaias used in answering the question on the plight of Eritrean youth. It is so sad that he can’t be held accountable not only for his habitual agressive language describing foreign heads of state and government, but for the bigger offense of forcing Eritrean youth into exile.

    Here is what the so called translator omitted from the original material that presented Isaias’ answer.

    “Their time ( François Hollande’s and Angela Merkel’s) will pass before they succeed in fulfilling their dream of madness.” Isaias knows France and Germany are democracies and leaders are replaced through the ballot box via élections. Election is what Isaias has not allowed in 25 years in his country and expects to rule until he dies. He’s 70 now and Eritreans will have to wait for another 20 years to see a different face.

    What Isaias did not understand is leaders but not major policies change in France and Germany. What France’s and Germany’s leaders said will be picked by leaders that come after them. So, Isaias’ frustration will persist and he will continue to diagnose every new leader with an old disease viz. madness.

    Tell diaspora Ethiopian opposition who make a living from handouts they get from Isaias for attacking their country that “you owe us” and we’ll collect the debt one day.

  5. If these words are uttered by the President of Eritrea, it is shocking. Blaming the ills on others is a way out for African leaders. The fact is he is the most ruthless man in the continent of Africa. His policy and warmongering stance is what drives the Eritrean youth from the land they love and cherish. President Isaias does not learn from his past. He simply repeats the same policy he and his left-over comrades outlined while in the pushes. Thousands of Eritreans are in jail. Many have been eliminated. To suggest, somehow the West is calling the Eritrean youth to abandon their homeland and leave among them is a crazy assumption. In fact, they do not like us. We get harassed directly and indirectly daily.
    The president will be well served to search his soul and come up with a lasting peace with himself for the sake of his nation. Blaming America, Germany or France will not serve any purpose what so ever. One thing is for sure, if the German and French leaders suffer from any form of psychosis there is plenty of resources at their disposal to get treatment. Mr. President, leasing the Port of Assab to an army of Arabs is not patriotism. Yet, you do not allow humanitarian aid to reach the starving Ethiopians through the port. If that is what the Eritreans struggled for, I say it is vanity. The blood of those who sacrificed themselves believing in the freedom struggle cries from the grave for justice. When will you wake up and say enough is enough, and want to make Eritrea a democratic country by releasing those who are languishing in the dungeons of your clandestine prisons? I say stop blaming other forces for your country’s problem. You are the problem. Just a reminder, your comrades in Ethiopian are not faring well either. What a shame! Wake up Mr. President!!

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