By W.Yilma July, 20/2016
We Ethiopians have more to say every day, weeks, month and year about Eritrea. This is not without reasons. Since our childhoods until present days, the Eritrean problem gets us up at night. Although the divorce is painful, many of us predicted that this may bring lasting peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea. Unfortunately peaceful co-existence between these two countries lasted only for 7 years after independence. With the pretext of border issue, the new nation declared war on Ethiopia. The causes for all these problems are not because of us, but because of them, the perceptions some Eritrean elites have developed about themselves as well as about Ethiopians. This wrong perception some of which are inferiority complex inculcated by Italian colonizer, unrealistic and overzealous “superiority complex” inculcated by Shabia, and anticipation of unfair and with no rules of engagement economic and trade benefits from Ethiopia. These three reasons are the core problems hindering to solve the conflict instigated by Shabia. What is strange though is that even after the fiasco Eritrean “independence” the problem becomes more problematic and complex than before. This is strange, but it reminds us that secession alone does not bring democracy, peace and economic prosperity if the elites failed to keep their promises to bring democracy, and unwillingness to transform themselves from jungle fighters to modern statesman. The Eritrean and the South Sudanese current situations are an example to solidify this truth. The people of these two countries are the most oppressed and denied basic freedom and peace than any other countries in our region today. This is a nightmare for the population of these two countries who paid dearly sacrifices in supporting of their respective “freedom fighters”.
Now the problem of Eritrea is at its climax and we Ethiopian need to be more vigilant. I said vigil because Eritrea which is acting like rabid dog is not alone and some Arab countries are backing and there are unseen conspiracies going on against Ethiopia. Other than Shabia, the so called “Ethiopian oppositions” are actively participating in this regional conspiracy. What I am talking here is not about the decent Eritreans, but about Shabia and his cohorts who have extreme hate towards Ethiopia and its people, in particular the people of Tigray (I am sorry for my politically incorrectness, but fact is fact!) That is why many Ethiopians who worried about their country unity and safety day and night are expressing their concerns about real threats possibly could come from the lawless northern neighbor.
When Shabia and other Eritrean political organizations planed to secede from Ethiopia one thing they underlined and work hard to achieve is to make Ethiopia weaker and create a condition that could allow Eritrea and other Arab countries, in particular Egypt to exploit Ethiopia natural resources, in particular Abay River. Shabia and his external supporters assumed that unless Ethiopia fragmented and weaken, the Eritrean independent as well as their long term geo-political interest will not be achievable. This mentality is not only wrong, dangerous and inhuman but also a crime. How one country in the 21 centuries assumes and plans to get unfair benefits when no peace and its neighbors are in a state of uncertainty and civil strife? Why at this time the western countries are in a state of emergency due to refugees crises, flooded manly from Syria, Eritrea, Iraq and Afghanistan? Is it not because of lack of peace in these countries?
It is clear Shabia made many attempts to materialize this goal since its inception and as a result of this in the 70’s Shabia approaches and engaged with EPRP, TPLF/EPRDF and then until now with many other fragmented Ethiopian organizations who are opposing the Ethiopian central government. There were cooperation’s in all fronts in particular with TPLF and to some extent with EPRP until the later drop out. The marriage with EPRDF/TPLF terminated after Shabia declared and occupied Ethiopian territory. With all these senseless war of aggression Eritrean youth blood spill like a stream of water inside as well as beyond Eritrean soil. Still this culture of war is unabated. Why? It is up to the Eritrean people to find an answer, but as far as I am concerned the bloodshed will continue as long as Shabia attitudes and behavior is not changed. No matter the pressure from domestic and other international actors to act as a responsible government, Shabia is intensifies its interference in the internal affairs of neighboring countries in particular Ethiopia. This Shabia dogma doctrine is a primary constraint which make difficult for Ethiopia to make peace deal with Eritrea. For Shabia peace means a state of war and war means a state of peace. After Eritrean army crushed by our gallant defense forces Shabia changed its strategy and intensified its interference in more dangerous way by training, and equipped various Ethiopian “opposition” groups some of whom are labeled by the Ethiopian government as terrorist. The most dangerous weapon Shabia is effectively exploited is the propaganda campaign through various media outlets. It is not only deceptive but also spewing unstoppable ethnic hate among Ethiopians. Because of this complex new scenario, no one knows for how long the Eritrean problem will stays with us.
It is unclear the motives, and who start the June, 2016 large scale war on Tsorona front. Every media outlets are giving their opinion based on their assessment. However, one Shabia funded media outlet comment on this issue is a case I decided to write this article. As many of us knows it is not a secret for many Ethiopians that ESAT, which many are calling an “Eritrean Satellite TV and Radio”, is disseminating wrong information to instigate ethnic clash between diverse Ethiopian people. Therefore it is not uncommon to hear or to watch from this media outlet deceptive, unreliable and poorly analyzed comment regarding Ethiopia in particular EPRDF. Although very rarely I visit this media outlet, the June 13, 2016 radio program attracted my attention and decided to share my opinion with those Ethiopians who care more about Ethiopia survival than political differences. No matter what differences we have, being it ethnic, politics, economic status one thing which we as an Ethiopian, a citizen of one country should never and ever compromised with our country’s peace, security, and geo-political interest. What I am observing in particular here in Diaspora is the spread of far right extremism ready to harm their country in the name of political differences. You can disagree with groups, but you should not hate your country the way you hate other groups!
Coming to my point, June 13, 2016, under the title “ESAT special radio program on TPLF regime aggression on Eritrea” there was a discussion online radio between two politically immature ESAT “journalists”. One of the broadcaster asked Sisay Agena, a self appointed “political commentator” the reason why the June, 12/2016 war was broke-out on Tsorena front. Sisay comment was clear and calculated, but unknowingly he exposed his groups and their boss Isayas conspiracy against Ethiopia, and both Shabia and ESAT created controversy of their own making. Sisay without credible evidence said that “TPLF” is the one who started the Tsorena war. He characterized the war as if it was between “TPLF” on one side and on the other side Eritreans defense force plus other “Ethiopian oppositions” groups. He further stated that “TPLF” requested Shabia to normalize relationship by handover Bademe to Eritrea and in return the “TPLF demand Shabia to stop helping and harboring Ginbot 7 and other opposition groups sheltered in Asmara. According to Sisay Isayas has rejected the request and will continue to train, equip, and harboring all Ethiopian armed groups until they topple “TPLF”.
Understanding Sisay’s comment, it is unwise to rule out all predictions that there could be a secret agreement between Shabia and the so called “Ethiopian oppositions, in particular Ginbot 7” to destabilize Ethiopia. Although it is poor judgment from the person who claimed “journalist” we should not ignore completely his statement. It need further scrutiny by the Ethiopian government and if what this yellow journalist has said have some truth, the Ethiopian government should aware the Eritrean people that Isayas is not working for Eritrea and Eritrean people but to use the so called “Ethiopian opposition” as a Trojan horse to satisfy his sadistic ambitions in the name of border conflict. I said this not because I am supporting war, but there are times you choose war to bring long lasting peace.
To me Sisay undermined not only the Eritrean people, but also the Ethiopian people as well. Is it really Eritrean people’s interest to sacrifice their children and destroy their country’s destiny for the sake of fragmented with no purposes “Ethiopian oppositions” groups? Who are those people now hugged by Isayas at this time? Are they not those people who venomously hated the current Ethiopian government for unequivocal support to Eritrean independent? Are not these people worried more about Assab and Massawa than accepting the will of the Eritrean people? I think it is not secret for the public to understand the true nature of these people. The memories are still in the minds of many Eritreans who suffered a lot under the successive Ethiopian past regimes (although the oppression is not an exception only for Eritreans). The fact of the matter is the Eritrean people will never get better friendly government than the present Ethiopian Federal Government, which is EPRDF! I said this not because of supporting EPRDF policy towards Eritrea before and after Eritrea independent, but as an ordinary Ethiopian who observes the sequences of events. I am sure many fair minded Eritreans share my opinion.
Let me ask our Eritrean brothers and sisters the following questions. Let’s say what ESAT “journalist” Sisay has said is true. Is it better for Eritreans to make a peace deal with Ethiopia or maintain the status quo and continue the suffering of the Eritrean people? Mind you there will be a dire consequences and possibly bloodshed. As few naive Eritreans are saying are the majority Eritreans fighting with no purpose for other people “freedom” while you are in absolute slavery?
For Eritrean Sisay is telling them that the unnecessary sacrifice in which the Eritrean youth are paying daily is not for Eritrea interest, but to pave the way for the so called “Ethiopian Oppositions” to seize power in Ethiopia, and for Ethiopian people he is telling us that Shabia knows better than we Ethiopians what type of government we Ethiopians deserve. Then guess what!! “Democratization” of Ethiopia under the terms of Shabia! Then democratization process in Eritrea adios! Please, refer the following ESAT radio conversation for further information.
There was a problem how the past two Ethiopian regimes handled the question of Nations, Nationalities and people, and there are also problems how the EPRDF “solved” this problems. It is a matter of public discussion with civility how we should amend, or correct if the constitutions have anomalies or external enemies are exploited for their own benefits by instigates conflict between us. However what I believe is that the way the Eritrean referendum was conducted is completely a historical mistake. The referendum satisfied only elites, without due considerations the future repercussions and consequences both for Ethiopian and Eritrean people. That is what happened now and all the problems we are dealing with are the direct or indirect results of those wrong doing. If independence solves war why now we are witnessing more war and more people’s misery in Eritrea and South Sudan? Elites always want people’s blood to nourish them.
The Ethiopian government should proactively work with the international communities and should outreach to Eritreans and create awareness that it is the best interest of Ethiopia to solve the border problem with Eritrea. If Shabia response is to keep the status quo, and continue harboring groups compromising the Ethiopian geo-political interest, instigate ethnic conflicts and mistrust, containment or “appropriate measure” policy should be revised to shorten the life of the Devil! Prime Minister Hailemariam said “We will respond to every action it takes to destabilized Ethiopia. We will intensify this policy of ours…If that shaky government wants to talk to us, our doors are open”. It seems the right policy but with many shorts. We did not see decisive action sir! Shabia is more determined to destabilize Ethiopia than Ethiopian government action restricted only to deter the threat. This is why we are living (particularly those people living bordering with Eritrea) in a state of uncertainty. For any threat coming from Eritrea’s territory it needs very decisive response. Any country including Ethiopia has international right and more importantly should protect its citizen’s safety by launching preemptive strike against any country if there is an imminent threat. From Shabia we are experienced a threat for the last 18 years.
Last, but not least we the people of the two countries should know that supporting in any form groups who claims they will bring peace and democracy through arming struggle should be discouraged. In most cases, power seized through arm struggle will never bring lasting peace or democracy. We have experience for the last 50 years. We have to refrain from helping these groups, and pressure should be mounted against armed groups to lay their arms and pursue peaceful struggle. As a country and people, we Ethiopians have many big problems which need collective actions. Unfortunately we spend our time, energy, knowledge and money in arguing with small problems which can be solved easily. Waste of limited resources that can help millions out of absolute poverty.
Finally, as I said before many times in my previous articles, Shabia have successful in spreading hate among Ethiopians. For Shabia, no stone is unturned to find radical narrow minded or chauvinist nationalist ” Ethiopian” who are not hesitating to sow ethnic hate among us in the name of “emama Ethiopia”. This is not simple propaganda war targeting to achieve political gain, but a psychological war targeted one specific ethnic group to alienate from the rest of Ethiopian Nations, Nationalities and people and if they succeed to commit genocide. This is one of the success in which Shabia compensate for his humiliated defeat in war front. What I do not understand is that why we Ethiopians terribly failed to understand the eminent danger? Why we play with fire that could engulf all of us? This silence and indifference attitude by majority of Ethiopians is unclear and it appeal for scholars to conduct study on this subject. My fear is that before we understand the root cause of it and how we should fix or be solved the problem, we may end up in disarray! Who is benefiting from these unforeseen but very scary scenarios? This question is not for those who are knowingly joining the forces of Evils, but for Ethiopians who have a sanity of mind and for those who objectively understood the overall situation of our beloved country. I do not say we have no problems, but as a people and as one country, with common destiny how we should solve our internal problems is an issue we should discuss with civility. Solution should come from us not from outsiders in particular from our ardent enemies, in particular from our northern neighbor.
Long Live Ethiopia!