PEN Eritrea or PEN of Identity Crisis?

From: Berhane Habtemariam <>
Date: Fri, 2 Oct 2015 18:44:16 +0200

By Senai TT

Oct 02, 2015

Desale said “Why do I need evidences to be part of this savage and brutal people?!”
Mrs Claudia Berekhet and Dessale Berekhet  (1)

My starting point of writing is the recent headline “ Notice – ምልክታ” of aimed at warning against a disinformation campaign at Smerr Pal talk room by an individual with name Dessale Berekhet Abraham, who tried to undermine Eritrean indelible history, social values and pride, in particular those centered on our armed struggle for independence. The news outlet further mentioned PEN ERITREA, an organization ironically established within the premises of PEN INTERNATIONAL aimed at enhancing literature and defending freedom of expression, but in reality, hijacked by ill-intentioned non Eritreans and half casted Eritreans while in its foundation stage.

To come to the core issue, the concern of is reasonable, though I believe such an unnecessary coverage of a fake personality in a big public media outlet like could perhaps convey an inflated self esteem of an attention seeker. Whether Dessale embodies himself as an individual or symbolize with chaperones of good reputation, his stubborn emotional behavior of hatred and categorical undermining of very aspect of Eritrea will always echo his Identity Crisis, which he himself resentfully acknowledged over a year back when Gual Halie (in her Facebook) published a detailed account regarding who really this person has been.

Here are some extracts below quoted from Gual Haile Facebook.

“It was in 1970’s that Dessale was born from his mother (Gual Arbaa) and unidentified Ethiopian soldier (commandos) in Ansaba Zone.The praiseworthy customs initially baptized him as ‘DESSALEGN’, with the rest of names [Middle and last] inherited from maternal father and grandfather— BEREKHET ABRAHAM. With time, ‘Dessalegn’ customized to DESSALE.

As a son of an Enemy soldier in a highly conservative society, he faced some sort of self discrimination and inferiority, to avoid such isolation he ultimately made it to Sahel in 1990, where he started school at “Inda Hizbi” at expenses of EPLF, the very fighters that fought against Ethiopian banditry of which Dessale’s father is claimed to have been part. He had never been in Revolution School, nor a veteran fighter of Armed struggle “GedLi” as he ridiculously claims to illusion some naïve minds in public chat rooms. Revolution school was mainly stationed at “Zero Camp”, where of course he was not. Nonetheless, he exploits the short period he stayed in Sahel prior to independence (1990 – 91) to substantiate his cheap propaganda.

After independence of Eritrea, he had the opportunity of free education in DeQamhare Boarding school, and later in the University of Asmara, where he couldn’t graduate and earn any qualification from any college due to a series of drop outs and re-admissions.

He wrote in Eritrean local magazines and news papers in rummage around fame, but he had never been a journalist as he claims. Opportunistic in nature, and being favored by PFDJ perspectives and entitlement to certain preferential privileges for identity crisis issues, he was placed a trivial assignment with PFDJ Human Resources Research and Documentation Center. However, this privilege ended when PFDJ knew his roots in Ethiopia, thus he was dismissed from the sensitive environment, but issued with an exit visa to leave on his will. He exited through Tesseney to Sudan, Uganda and finally Norway after exploiting and abusing with showers of fake love a decent French woman with name Claudia Berekhet, estimated at her late 60’s.

Following legal marriage in Uganda, he used her to come to Europe, where after an extra one month honeymoon in France with this woman old enough to be his grandmother, escaped to Norway. He is still wanted at least for a legal divorce. Photo of the couple is attached, source – Gual Haile Face book”.

Dessale’s response [unedited] to the above claim, via his face book on July 2, 2014 was as below.

“It was last night. One of my best friends, Michael, calls me. His voice was not as always.

He said, ‘I am very sorry, and I have warned you time and again, previously. I knew that they will do this. Now you have to find out strong evidences to proof that you are a true Eritrean!’

I never understood anything. Especially, ‘strong evidences to be a true Eritrean!’ The most nonsense thing I have ever heard in my life time. Why do I need evidences to be part of this savage and brutal people?! If I was rendered any option to come to this world; Eritrea would have not been even the last country to born in to.

Anyway, afterwards, he sent me what I am sharing here. I hope the regime in Eritrea would put an official seal on this paper and next day I would go to the amazing country (with 13 months of sun shining) Ethiopia, which the ‘writer’ says is where my roots are.

Here, I would let all Eritreans know, that I am not lucky enough to be born an Ethiopian. Unfortunately enough, for my complete bad luck I was born as an Eritrean. And if Ethiopia welcomes me for this paper, or any other reason, I will not even give it any second thought. After all, I am a global person and nationalism, in this 21st c. gives me no sense at all. I am way beyond it.”

We have now enough evidence regarding his non Eritrean Identity whether by birth or by choice. So, why does then Dessale, as a non Eritrean, interferes in Eritrean matters, none of his business?

Pointing the PEN to PEN Eritrea,

The conventional ground for the foundation of PEN Eritrea was that it is was simply adoption of the parent PEN International and Eritrea had none. Nonetheless, the idea was hijacked by non Eritreans and half casts who want to exploit the opportunity and direct the organization for serving a devil advocate against Eritrea and its people for narrow benefits with their ancestor country, Ethiopia. The core circle governing PEN Eritrea, but not necessarily innocent minds who publish their literature and artistic work, are unfortunately non Eritreans who were tricky enough to get signatory support from some individual Eritreans for approval of the organization for devil advocate. List of the signatories appears, as below, at PEN Eritrea – Constitution, Page 14.

The Constitution of PEN Eritrea is approved by the following list of signatories:
No. Full Name Country

1. Abdu Mohammed Andu Swiss
2. Abraham Tesfalul USA
3. Amal Ali M.Saleh England
4. Amanuel Mahdere Ethiopia
5. Brhane Ghebrehiwet Ethiopia
6. Dessale Berekhet Norway
7. Eyob Ghilazghy Uganda
8. Fr.Yonas Wolderufael Swedon
9. Mebrahtu Teklesion Canada
10. Mogos Ukubamichael Netherlands
11. Mekonnen Tesfai USA
12. Robel Teclay Norway
13. Ruth Zecarias Canada
14. Saba Kidane France
15. Salih Omer Nur Germany/USA
16. Daniel Semere Germany
17. Tedros Markos Ethiopia
18. Tesfalem Habte China
19. Yemane Tesfamariam Norway
20. Mehasho Zemenfes mehari Norway

As you can see above, these signatories approved the constitution, but who is the author? The president of the organization with his privileged titles ‘Veteran Professor’ Ghirmai Negash does not appear in the list of the signatories. Is he an insider or another cover up for the mission? The answer to these questions really matters for the organization/constitution principles and objectives categorically aim at destroying Eritrean social and national identity.

To give simple proof of this, Dessale [who is Ethiopian] is the director of public relations in the organization. One of his duties in accordance with organizational constitution is to “Speak publicly to promote PEN Eritrea’s goals and to advance its public profile, (, Pen Eritrea constitution, Page 9, 8H)”. Well, let us how he implementing this role. In Smerr Pal Talk Room, he undermined our country, our people and our values, and he said that PEN Eritrean has nothing to do with Eritrea (Pal Talk ). Why not then PEN Ethiopia?

If this is what PEN Eritrea meant for, I mean Dessale and his Ethiopian half casts as stakeholders, it is really high time for those Eritrean signatories who chaperoned Dessale in a devil advocate to reconsider their PEN identity, and make the most of their reputation for a meaningful and genuine Eritrean purposes.

Senai TT

Received on Fri Oct 02 2015 - 12:44:17 EDT

Dehai Admin
© Copyright DEHAI-Eritrea OnLine, 1993-2013
All rights reserved