Why peaceful coexistence is amiss to the one-man state of Eritrea

A Perspective on Ethio-Eritrean Conflict


  Adal Isaw  adalisaw@yahoo.com

 April 4, 2009


Today, Ethiopia is on a pedestal of stronger foundation of unity.  The administrative change that replaced the thirteen provinces has dispersed the cloud of anxiety, away from Ethiopia’s unity to the abyss.  Contrary to what was expected by those who questioned Ethiopia’s unity, people within the nine regional states have worked in unison with the federal government, to make Ethiopia the fastest growing non-oil dependent African nation.


Our peoples’ hard work will continue, even after Ethiopia becomes a vibrant developed nation and its inevitable economic and military prowess of the future is evident.  This destination of our journey, however, is also making some states of the region very nervous.  These states are adamant and they're acting on their nervousness to pull back Ethiopia-a nation which only mission is to eradicate most of its ailment once and for all. 


Of these nervous-ridden states, the one-man state of Eritrea is the single most important carrier of a plan of gloom and doom. What is being planned, organized, and acted on to hinder Ethiopia is overtly spearheaded by this rogue state.  The one-man state of Eritrea is leading the assault because of its own long-lived reasons and these reasons are only “justifiable” as long as Eritrea remains in a state of perpetual war with Ethiopia.


Historically, Shaebia had had at least two grandiose reasons to choose war over peace with Ethiopia.  One, to secede from Ethiopia at any cost as soon as possible, and two, to create a suitable condition by weakening and possibly fragmenting Ethiopia  for the birth of a superior Eritrea in the Horn.  Grandiose reason one has been achieved, and grandiose reason two has become deceivingly confounding. 


Grandiose reason two was sold for public consumption premised on two wild assumptions; one, Eritrea can become the economic tiger in the Horn as Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, and Hong Kong have in East Asia, and two, that it can easily outperform Ethiopia militarily.  The disproof for these two wild assumptions came one after another.  Ethiopia dispelled Shaebia’s assumption on the military end during the 1998-2000 conflict, and it’s continuously debunking Eritrea’s wildest assumption on the economic end by registering a double digit economic growth year after year. These outcomes have made Shaebia weaker on many fronts, and as a result, Shaebia is forced to recruit other destructive forces to carry on its grandiose reason two.

At this point in time, the endeavor of grandiose reason two is being abetted by forces of disunity, hate, and terror.  These forces are comprised of OLF, ONLF, al-Shabbab (youth league of the defunct UIC), al-Quaeda, and everything that is anti-Ethiopia.  This endeavor, much like any other endeavor of the one-man state, is continuously rendered futile by gallant Ethiopian Defense Forces and the Ethiopian people at large.   Those who are Shaebia’s hope to bring down Ethiopia to its knees have faltered, and, the expected chaos within Ethiopia is being replaced with peace and modernity.  Those who are in Asmara in hope of concocting a plan for the demise of Ethiopia under grandiose reason two are now themselves the captives of a megalomaniac one-man state.


On another front, the failure of grandiose reason two is now testing the conviction of those Eritreans who cheered secession over staying the course of living with their Ethiopian cousins.  These Eritreans are now weighing the worth of their action to the negative.  As it stands now, and also in hindsight, the secession of Eritrea from its authentic maternal part has become unjustifiable for what it has worth our cousins. Eritreans have lost immeasurably relative to what they would have achieved had they lived in peace with their Ethiopian cousins.


Furthermore, the failure of grandiose reason two is now sponsoring a new phase- where discourse about the negative consequences of this one-man state’s undemocratic and quarrelsome policies are spoken aloud.  This phase has also become an instance in time for the birth of an antithesis-a counter political punch for Shaebia’s project of making Eritrea a superior state by default.  Remember, in utter moronic way, Shaebia sees the absence of peace in the entire region as that which induces strength to it.  Nonetheless, Shaebia’s arrogant and quarrelsome policy is now being countered by those Eritreans who seek to change course, favoring peace over chaos in the region.  This political discourse coupled with the emergence of an absolutely daunting Ethiopia in the horizon leaves the one-man state of Eritrea with only two options; coexist in peace or live under a multi-pronged state of perpetual war, until death knocks the chamber of tyrannical power in Asmara.


Coexistence in peace with Ethiopia may entail freedom for Eritreans to commingle again with their Ethiopian cousins.  Earlier misunderstandings may give ways for a newer understanding, which in turn may pave the way for rekindled relationship of some sort.  As usual, peace will then breed unseen opportunities to Eritreans and Ethiopians, that both might have lost sight for in the heat of a previous disagreement or misunderstanding.  Furthermore, coexistence in peace may bring cool heads from both sides to prevail and show the mammoth of similarity that these two people share, pointing to an avenue of solid co-operation. 


All these aforementioned scenarios are positive and feasible possibilities, that coexistence in peace may bring forth among people who know more about their interrelated affairs than any other entity in the entire world.  In sharp contrast to these positive possibilities, Shaebia as usual is executing everything within the bounds of its power, to hinder these possibilities from taking roots for fear what  peaceful coexistence may bring forth- the death of grandiose reason one.  In other words, cool Eritrean heads with their Ethiopian counterparts may revisit Eritrea’s secession if these positive and feasible possibilities are allowed to sail.  Remember, technically speaking, it may be true that Eritrea has seceded from Ethiopia, but in practice, it is also true that Eritrea has been hijacked for misery by a single man-Isayas Afewerki.   How is it possible and in what name can a single individual keep Eritreans hostage? 


The one-man state of Eritrea is still intoxicated from an enigmatically twisted nationalist fervor.  It pictures Eritreans and Ethiopians as though they are as disparate as Britons are to Sudanese and vice versa.  And, by having propagated this notion for as long as it has lived, sizeable followers subscribe to this perception of twisted nationalism.  The only way for theses subscribers to sober up comes only by way of peaceful coexistence. Peace will make it easier for all concerned to observe and understand the similarities of Eritreans and Ethiopians.  In other words, it is peace that can only heal the hateful hearts of those victims of a twisted nationalist propaganda, to see in them what they have failed to see in Ethiopians-their cousins.  Besides, it is one thing to exercise the freedom to be left alone from oppressing hand and utterly another to deny your roots by way of a displaced anger from colonial times. 


 Ethiopia has no forceful grandiose project other than to live in peace with people that it knows are part and parcel.  This peaceful gesture should in no way anger any Eritrean including the one-man state, but nonetheless, it does- for fear what peaceful coexistence may bring forth- the death of a jingoistic nationalism and the possible re-union of Eritrea with Ethiopia.  The obvious question is then, how so?


In the name of creating a nation state with a singular Eritrean personality, Shaebia’s perverted nationalism lives by ignoring the nine nations and nationalities that comprise Eritrea.  Shaebia idiotically propagates for an Eritrean personality beyond the realm of what the nine nations and nationalities are socially endowed with.  In so doing and without having a clue, Shaebia is undertaking a political experiment-dabbed inevitable for its failure.  Eritrea is not a nation state and no political power in Eritrea will be able to change this self-evident fact.  You cannot possibly squeeze Japan out of Eritrea for the simple fact that, unlike Japan, Eritrea is a state composed of nine nations and nationalities.  Sooner or later, the nations and nationalities that are being asked to waive who they’re in lieu for a singular Eritrean personality will rise up to assert the similar rights granted to nations and nationalities in Ethiopia.


To Shaebia and its cohorts, nothing is scarier than the prospect of the nine nations and nationalities within Eritrea realizing the humongous benefit to be gained from befriending Ethiopia-the land where the right to self government is revered as the inalienable rights of nations and nationalities.  The nations and nationalities in Eritrea, needless to say, will have more to gain from the possible reunion with Ethiopia than they are from a twisted nationalism that ignores who they are.  The possible reunion can only come if peaceful coexistence becomes the order of living, and, that is why the one-man state of Eritrea would rather choose to live under a state of perpetual war, rather than letting the Eritrean people see that the new Ethiopia isn’t as strange as Shaebia is dying for propagating.