US “behind all the international efforts to destabilize Eritrea”
(MoFA) July 13, 2012-
Once again, Eritrea is claiming that the international community is trying to destabilize Eritrea by its accusations that Eritrea has been supporting opposition and terrorist elements in the region, threatening all its neighbors. The most recent statement of the Eritrean Foreign Ministry and letter to the UN Security Council, however, makes abundantly clear the tendency of Eritrean leaders to complicate matters for themselves rather than take up the alternative of simply behaving normally.
These latest responses to critical comment are almost routine but there is a greater emphasis on anti-American invective than in similar past diatribes. The US is behind every move in any form in any part of the world critical of the Eritrean regime, and all of which are aimed at “demonizing the regime”. The US State Department, for example, is busy concocting all kinds of canards to destabilize Eritrea and to effect regime change. That is why it is fabricating stories about the dire level of human trafficking. The fact that thousands of Eritreans often find themselves victims in the hands of ruthless traffickers in Sinai and other places is entirely the responsibility of the US administration.
The recent appointment by the UN of a Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Eritrea is also claimed to have the fingerprints of the US Administration all over it. The regime appears to believe that its now obvious and well-known persecution of its citizens for such ‘crimes’ as belonging to a Protestant church is the fault of the US Administration. The US Administration is the preferred villain even above the NGOs which campaigned so vociferously against the regime and which were, in fact, largely responsible for the UN Human Rights Council decision.
The Eritrean statements go further in alluding to what Eritrea claims were a series of military offensives by Ethiopia. These were perpetrated at the behest of the US administration as another element in its campaign to destabilize Eritrea. Eritrea's leaders, despite the country’s virtual economic and military emasculation, want the world to believe that they are still too powerful for Ethiopia to match them, and hence it is the US Administration's active efforts which lie behind Ethiopia's every move. Eritrea's leaders tell us again and again that the US Administration is suffering sleepless nights over the astounding prosperity and economic success that Eritrea has achieved over the years thanks to its policy of self-reliance.
The oddest part of Eritrea's accusations aren’t so much the focus on the US Administration responsibility for everything that goes wrong in Eritrea, but the supposed reasons for this. The motive for the continuous US attacks on Eritrea through its series of trumped up accusations is partly US fear of Eritrea’s policies of self-reliance and partly in order to deflect the international community's attention away from what they refer to as the “virtual demarcation" by the Eritrea Ethiopian Border Commission.
This, of course, is a legal nonsense as indeed Eritrea originally called it, but what is even odder is that it is actually a non-issue. In the first place the implementation of the EEBC Decisions has nothing to do with anybody except Eritrea and Ethiopia. To the extent that any other entities, including the US, actually have a role, this is merely encouraging the two parties to make bona fide efforts to seek ways to implement the Decisions, in other words to open the necessary dialogue to determine the physical demarcation of the border. This is normal international practice and the necessity has been obvious for nearly a decade, during which time Eritrea has persistently refused efforts by dozens of people, including US officials, to help. The regular response of Eritrea's leader has consistently been an incomprehensible “resolute rebuff".
Equally, Ethiopia does not need any one's support to address its differences with Eritrea. As far as implementation of the EEBC decision goes, Ethiopia has always said it is ready to sit down with the Eritrean leadership anywhere, at any time and at any level and without any preconditions to work out the physical demarcation of the border.
Eritrea’s destabilizing activities in the region are, of course, another issue. Ethiopia, along with other countries in the region, has persistently been trying to seeking diplomatic solutions to bring this activity to an end. The sanctions that have been imposed on Eritrea were due in large measure to this collective effort on the part of the countries in the region. More importantly, perhaps, Ethiopia does not need any outside support to deal with Eritrea's destabilizing activities against Ethiopia. President Isaias virtually admitted this in his most recent interview with Press TV.
As the Eritrean leadership is now fully aware, Eritrea's acts of destabilization have been and will be met with calculated and proportional force. That is Ethiopia’s right and Ethiopia does not need to ask for permission from outside to exercise it. Whatever Eritrea’s leaders may admit, this is now a fact that they will have to live with. It should be very clear that the only option left for Eritrea is to talk not to shoot. Continuation of the latter will certainly lead to the regime’s undoing. In fact, the leaders of Eritrea face a stark and single choice: to come clean about destabilization activities in the region and prove that one can behave normally. In reference to relations with Ethiopia, dialogue is the only viable option, and the ball, obviously, is in President Isaias’ court.