Beyond Embargo: The Solution toEritrea’s Political Extremism is Democracy (Part I)
January 31, 2010
Political extremism is an ideological behavior of state and non-state actors on the fringe of being vented by an act of terrorism. Political extremism is born locally and may grow to become a violence-ridden endeavor of terrorism, encompassing cross-national areas of operations. Terrorism gains its alliances from areas of the world where political extremism lives to progress into an act of indiscriminate killing—making it one of the central issues of an international security concern.
State and non-state actors with extreme political worldview and without a space for democratic and pragmatic accommodation, tend to employ terrorism in an attempt to resolve their ideological differences. Following such a narrow political history of intolerance, for example, the Eritrean-born political extremism has become an international security concern of terror—for which UN level policy makers have recently imposed an embargo to enervate its destructive mission.
States are not immune to political extremism and at times act in manners similar to non-state actors in utilizing terror for political expediency. In their very responsible posture, however, states compose the primary and responsible body of our international security system. Yet our international security system is being challenged more often than we think by states that are politically extreme and peculiarly destabilizing.
Overtly, states are fearful to engage in terrorist endeavor more so than they’re to indirectly support its feasibility. States with a predilection for political extremism also know how laborious, bureaucratic and time-consuming it is to prove a state guilty of a terrorist endeavor. In any event, politically extreme states, like the one-man state of Eritrea, covertly participate and or support terrorist endeavors—with extreme care not to leave traces of evidence.
Covert support for terror takes various forms to obfuscate its origin and responsible entity. Adopting false identity—names, date of birth; fabricating documents of citizenship and finding cover from secondary and tertiary states, are the few from the many various forms that covert support for terror deploys to obfuscate its origin and responsible entity. In addition, since the behavior of a state is belied by its peripheral political posturing, finding support to investigate a state for terrorizing an entire region requires a superb and patient diplomatic and investigative work. The underdog and victim exterior image of the one-man state of Eritrea, for this precise reason, has effectively belied its bent for terror and destabilization effort in the Horn and beyond. And as a result, it took UN level policy makers several years to find it guilty of terror-abetting and destabilizing endeavors.
To make matters worse, states with a defiant pose to abet terror get political and economic support from other states for any number of reasons. For example, the one-man regime of Isayas Afewerki enjoys a full-blown support from Libya—another convict and duet one-man state, that admitted guilt for the midair Lockerbie Bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in 1998. The list of “under the table” supporters of the one-man Eritrean state may include scores of countries other than Libya and Iran in spite of the recent UN Security Council embargo. And this may be is one of the daunting challenges that the international community should sort out in time as the embargo continues.
In any event, the UN Security Council embargo is a substantial measure for now, but its effect will wane in time if the underlying political problem of Eritrea is to be shelved indefinitely. The international community, especially EU, should start to see that the ultimate underlying cause of Eritrea’s aggression and lust for terror and destabilization is political extremism—crafted and made possible by Isayas Afewerki and company. The antidote for the one-man Eritrean state political extremism is therefore democracy and the creation of the Eritrean state anew. And a meaningful diplomatic pressure by the international community to this effect should take hold sooner than later.
This is the pivotal message that the international community, especially EU, should bear in mind if it wants to affect relative peace throughout the Horn and beyond. In part II of this article, and may be in consecutive other, the historical background to Eritrea’s one-man state political extremism and its consequences; the role of the international community, especially EU; and the urgent need to democratize and create the Eritrean state anew will be discussed.