What to Make of Eritrea’s Latest Desperate Act


What to Make of Eritrea’s Latest Desperate Act

Fekadu Tesfaye 02/03/14

Recently ‘Aiga Forum’ put out an article citing FDRE Foreign Ministry’s statement which claimed that the Asmara administration is running a diplomatic spree to overturn the sanction (that was levied on it) without making any policy or behavioral change.

As this statement clearly affirms, the fact that the Ato. Isaias Government is trying to overturn the UN levied Sanctions without stopping its relationship with terrorists, altering it wreck–havoc-in-the–region strategy and without halting it military and logistic support to Somali rebels is a mockery. This is even funnier considering Shabiya’s action and innate nature are two opposite things.

As any reader of this article knows, Ato Isaias Afewerqi’s regime had in the part got recognition for its troubles of wrecking havoc throughout East Africa so much that the UN Security Council has given its deserving award in the shape of Sanctions twice. And how it’s recent diplomatic “spree” and finessing will get it out of its political Isolationism and sanctions without making any change in its approach; only themselves know.

Despite the charm of Asmara’s regime antique ‘lie with straight face’ diplomacy, this will not be enough to fool the IGAD /Intergovernmental Authority on Development/ or the International community. Thus, I don’t think the recent diplomatic spree of shabiya won’t amount to anything other than reveal its mischief's. ‘.

Here I think it’s important to ask the questions “what are the sanctions that are driving the Asmara’s government mad?” “What type of policy and behavioral changes and alteration did the regime make for it to ask for Sanction-lift?” “What is the real motive behind its diplomat’s recent intensified spree?”, and look into these issues thoroughly.

This is because it will allow the readers of this article to see; as a tiger doesn’t change its spot, that the Ato Isaias administration’s havoc strategy is not changing for the better and will not halt its ‘til’ death do us apart’ marriage to terrorists. And in fact graduating itself from East Africa, the regime is now putting its hands onto the conflicts of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Central African Republic (CAR).

In order to help us understand, it’s important to probe into the Ato Isaias led government’s innate nature from its start Forty and Fifty years ago. Shabiya under the name ‘Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF)’ started a struggle for Eritrea’s freedom in Sahel desert, and under its  People's Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) name (a name which doesn’t match with its activities) took the mantle of the new independent Eritrea’s government.

During its Sahel days, shabiya was sitting on the mountains and learning the ways of anti-democracy, military bravado and exploitation which made them its way of life. After the demise of ‘Derg’, shabiya graduating these behaviors into its nature became government of Eritrea and entered into its Asmara palace.

As being demons of anti-democracy and exploitation are hard to exorcise and also overestimating its military prowess, the shabiya administration totally forgot that it’s a government that has to succumb to international rule and law, and end up being the chief sponsor of havoc and destruction in the region. According to many analysts who followed Shabiya closely claim, the regime is consumed with undemocratic and exploitative behaviors.

As the Asmara’s squad was trying to run its economy on the back of others wealth since the independence of Eritrea, it entered into wrecking havoc and destruction throughout the region after it realized its aspiration of being the great conqueror of the region won’t come into fruition. Instead of halting its aggression and putting efforts to revive its ailing economy, it chose to pour kerosene on the region’s conflicts.

After its havoc and destruction network that spanned from Asmara, through Ethiopia well into Mogadishu was destroyed by the gallant Ethiopian military forces through the participation of our people; it turned its attention to the internationally recognized Somalia’s Federal transitional government and vowed ‘to overthrow it’.

There isn’t a rocket, grenade, rockets or bullets left unload in Somalia by Ato Isaias Afwerqi’s dictatorial regime; which by the way is immune to peace and development, using the Somali terrorist group Al-Shabaab and the fundamentalist Union of Islamic Court (UIC).

On one side, the Asmara’s honcho appearing all “concerned” talk about peace to international Medias by claiming “Somalia’s problem can only he solved by Somalis”. Then he turns back on his own word and works to put the lights off of the glimmer hope of peace by arming and giving logistical and financial support to terrorist and extremists groups like Al-Shabaab.

While its own economy is heading into the gutter ravaging its people by poverty and misery, the regime is keeping up its reputation of anti-public and anti-neighbor attitude to the international community by providing arms, rockets, cluster bombs and Grenades to terrorists ‘in droves’.

As it can be recalled, the Eritrean government consumed with military Bravado (of its Sahel days) had played mischief with in Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti, Sudan and Yemen as part of its ‘wreck havoc in Horn of Africa’ agenda.

Not satisfied with its regional terrorist position, it moved across the sea into the Middle East up to Sri-Lanka and promoted itself into terror–in–chief. However, its promotion to managerial position of the world Terrorists organization caught the eye of the international community.

After the UN carefully investigated the Asmara’s government havoc and destruction activities by tasking a monitoring group, the Security Council had decided to impose its first sanction claiming the shabiya Administration “is a danger to the region’s peace and stability”.

And the background for the second sanction goes like this…. Instead of not continuing its terror activities after the first sanction was imposed on it, it choose to intensify its havoc activities. The UN tasked monitoring group came up with 417 pages long report on the situation East Africa after deeply investigating the region.

This report claimed the Ato Isaias government has continued with terror activities by violating the Security Council’s arms embargo, which was consistent with information that were presented (by other bodies) to the UN. This report which was done carefully and neutrally (claimed the Asmara’s administration’s heavily involved in terror activities.

The monitoring group report also stated that the bomb attacks carried out in different Somali parts by Al-Shabaab, the foiled terror attempt plotted to attack an African Union summit in Addis Ababa, along with other failed terrorist attacks in different parts of the capital conceived and directed by the Eritrean government’s external operations directorate, under the leadership of General Te-ame Goitom.

Ato Isaias administration’s close relationship with the so-called ‘liberator” Al-Shabaab was also a surprising revelation in this report. Apparently the Eritrean government had put ‘Al-Shabaab’ in its payroll for a monthly pay of 80 thousand dollars under vouchers marked ‘State of Eritrea’, and has been utilizing its Kenya Embassy for this end.

Not only this – This report also claimed that the Eritrean government refusing to withdraw troops from its disputed territory with Djibouti of Ras doumeira, it has violated the UNs decision.

The C-4 cluster bomb Al-Shabaab used to carry out its attack in Kampala which took the lives of 76 civilian lives was the same as the confiscated cluster bomb that was about to be used on the foiled AU summit attack that was meant to be carried out by the shabiya sponsored and directed, ‘OLF’.

Not only this. It has been confirmed that the Eritrean government by violating Security Council Resolution 1907 (2009), it has been giving training, financial and logistical support to Djibouti, Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda rebels and terrorists…

After deliberating on the Monitoring Group’s report and also after contemplating the additional information presented by the regional bloc IGAD /Intergovernmental Authority on Development/ and AU (African Union), the UN Security Council imposed its second sanction (on top of the already imposed sanction) which imposes an arms embargo on Eritrea, travel bans on its leaders, and froze the assets of some of the country's political and military officials and a ban on the 2% remittance the regime collects from its diasporas (which it uses for arms procurement).

The Eritrean government should have restrained from its terror-facilitating activities. However, the regime is still heavily involved in it, and recently another report put out by UN monitoring group confirmed this fact.

Thus, it’s inevitable to ask here ‘What behavioral changes did the Eritrea administration crafted that’s driving it to make an intensified diplomatic spree to lift the sanctions’… recently UN Monitoring Group on Eritrea and Somalia; whose tenure has been extended (after the sanctions), casted fresh doubt about Asmara’s regime so-called change of policies:

“The Eritrean government has continued with its interference in Somalia, shrugging off the two sanctions imposed upon it. The Asmara administration has not changed its havoc strategy in the country as it still giving arms support and equipment to various Somalia warlords”

This remark of the monitoring group confirms that the Eritrean government did not stop its relation with terrorists even after the two sanctions. In addition to this, it has also been confirmed that the Asmara havoc–squad has tried to hinder the development and democratic order building process of the region’s countries by sheltering every terrorists and anti–peace forces that operate in the region. Mentioning the recent attack that was carried out in Afar region Ethiopia, orchestrated by the regime, can be enough to support the above remark.

Notwithstanding the fact that Asmara government assembles terror groups like ‘OLF’, ‘ONLF’, ‘Ginbot 7’ etc … who it crafted in its own split image to use them create the notion ‘there is no peace and stability in Ethiopia’ and who it also uses to carry out its terror plots, its terror act carried out in Afar regional government has reaffirmed that no sanction or ban will divorce it from its matrimony with terror activities.

A year and half ago; before an AU summit was about to start, the Ato Isaias administration have carried out an attack on civilian tourists who were present around Ertale, in Afar region. As a result of the regime’s this diabolical attack, five tourists were killed and many others were taken against their will.

We can also see another recent instance which further suggests that the Eritrean government hasn’t changed its terror ways. Journalists based on Asmara asked Ato Isaias the question “the Ethiopian government high official who recently came to power is saying that they are ready to open talks with the Eritrean government; What do you make of this?”

Ato Isaias with his usually poker face pose replied, “this remark cannot be anything more than an attention or headline grabber, the Eritrea government don’t want to be involved in this drama”. He reaffirmed its ‘till death do us a part’ relation with anti-peace activities, by refusing to take Ethiopian’s peace hand.

I will add another. As we all recall Ato Isaias Afwerqi’s government has forcefully occupied Djibouti’s Ras Doumeria requesting to cross the border in order to get sand for a road.

But, the regime refuses to accept that it has occupied the territory even today. The regime’s refusal to withdraw its troops from its disputed border with Djibouti and its total rejection of all calls for negotiation over its unprovoked attack and invasion of Djibouti territory, had forced the international community on its part to give the regime a warning to withdraw from Djibouti’s sovereign territory. But, the regime wouldn’t budge. Military bravado and exploitation which has been part of its rhetoric (since its Sahel days) are still part of its inner workings.

So, only Ato Isaias knows what kind of behavioral “Change” the regime has made. The other thing I find baffling is the fact that Shabiya’s fighting to rejoin IGAD. It was the regime in the first place that wanted to quit IGAD, calling the regional block, a stooge.

So, when the Eritrea government wanted to reclaim its membership of the bloc, member states told the regime it has to stop its terror activities and its relationship with terrorists (before its request for membership is answered). It isn’t acceptable the fact that Shabiya demanded to be member of the block without making any kind of change in its policy or behavior.

Of course the Asmara squad’s real motive behind its demand of membership can be seen from two angles – from the big changes its facing and its plot to weaken the member states. Shabiya; which has been destabilizing the region from its days of ‘conquering’ to its current status of terrorist-in-chief, hasn’t done anything positive or fruitful to the region.

Thus it’s normal to ask the question, “then why does the regime demand to be part of IGAD?” The answer has to do with regime’s adhered ‘double-edged’ diplomacy. Today Ato Isaias administration is pinned back in many aspects. The days in which it used to get support from Mubarak and Gaddafi are now degraded to history books.

They are not in a position to help themselves let alone back the Eritrea honcho. One is appearing in court on a stretcher and other fall victim to a revolution. And the 2% remittance it used to get (forcefully) from its citizen is now dwindling as a consequence of some government’s actions taken.

Therefore, it capability to tube-to-tube transfer arms is dwindling. In parallel, the fact that Al-Shabaab is driven out of Somalia by the country’s transitional government and security forces, is further turning the Asmara’s government ‘havoc aspirations’ into a nightmare. Its terror and wrecking days are fast becoming frosty.

So it’s only option is to seek to rejoin IGAD, as if it hasn’t used to belittle the organization. However, the regime’s either ‘I will wreck havoc when conditions are conducive’ or if not ‘I will weaken IGAD member states by dividing them’ kind of ‘double-edged’ diplomatic finessing is not acceptable. The doors of African Union (AU) Intergovernmental Authority on Development IGAD) and the international community is always closed to terrorists.

I think the hidden agenda of the Eritrean government behind its demand to rejoin IGAD is clear to everyone – to weaken the organization by dividing the member states.

However, the IGAD member states are all aware of the Asmara’s regime unchanging nature, including it’s not so bright calculations. So, I don’t think they’ll even consider its diplomatic spree as the regime attraction to violence rather than cooperation; havoc instead of peace is undying.

There are two scenarios the Ato Isaias administration can take. one is for shabiya to align itself with peace-loving forces, completely stopping its terror and havoc strategy. The other is to continue with its destruction and havoc ways.

Although the choice is left to shabiya itself, but I believe it will choose the second scenario. This is coming from knowing its nature and behavior. You can bet that Ato Isaias will find it impossible to cut off its (‘till death do us a part’ relationship) with terror and havoc.

It’s naivety to think that he’ll just wake up and get rid of this behavior of his, which he lived it through 30 years of rebellion and 22 years as a government. It will be wiser to bet Hosni Mubarak will led Egypt for the next few years, than expecting the Eritrean government to change its destructive way’.

So, he can’t turn his back on the terrorists and anti-peace forces that operate in the region, and he won’t back down from supporting them. He doesn’t want to lose the benefit that comes from its exploitative policies.

So, the situation is not only hard to turn its back on, but it’s a survival issue. Thus, the UN Security Council has to take another strong measurement and not lift (soften) the sanction to stop a government that’s consummated with terror and terrorists – as its own Monitoring Group has reported successively.

All in all, if there is anything the recent episode implicates is that there is no point in making strides without making any behavioral change.

So, it would be behoove of Ato Isaias to stop its terror activities before it’s too late.

Generally the Asmara squad despite its “we support Somali’s Transitional government’’ mockery on the international community and the regional bloc, it has yet to show any change. In fact as I have tried to mention it earlier the UN monitoring group has reported that it hasn’t refrained from its terror activities.

Since the Ato Isaias squad has made a living out of after its invading days was cut short, it can’t get out of its terror and mischief days. And this is known even by an ‘average Joe’ like me, let alone by big international and regional institutions.

Thus, what’s aim of the recent diplomatic spree started by Ato Isaias and his double-dealing diplomats? Is this his usual ‘lie with a straight face’ diplomacy or ‘please, let me fool you?’ mockery. All in all it would be behoove of Shabiya to know that its lies and mockery won’t get him far, as straight face lies could only take you so far.

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