By Stefano Pettini,
Once again “Avvenire” publishes a photocopy-article stuffed with the worst clichés against Eritrea.
As was to be expected as soon the effects of trauma caused by the failure of the COIE’s claims of sending Eritrea to an International Criminal Court in order to make it judged for alleged crimes against Human Rights committed by his government has passed, anti-Eritrean activists are moving in a new attempt to reactivate a smear campaign which will accompany and support the work of the Special Rapporteur over the course of the next year.
Among the first newspapers that have collected the products of this new hate campaign against Eritrea, “Avvenire” is among them. Unfortunately, it’s not the first time that this newspaper uses this type of divulgation activities of news which, although containing some credible details, are totally without substance and severely detrimental to the rights of readers to be informed in a correct and complete way.
The Eritreans in particular, being a deeply religious population, are dismayed by having to read in a newspaper of Catholic inspiration, articles so unjust in their aims, politically oriented and denigrating to their state and their government, and they wonder who can mislead the good faith of the newsroom.
Anyway looking better, the plot which characterizes this type of articles is pretty obvious. The theme is always the same: creating distrust and dismay through the attempt to prove the theorem of a healthy people victim of a single oppressor guilty of all sorts of atrocities. The aim is to make desirable and justifiable any type of initiative aimed at removing President Isaias in order to satisfy the Ethiopian agenda and promote Ethiopian resettlement at the head of Eritrea.
Who could benefit from the creation of a scenario of this kind as well as the Ethiopians themselves?
To be honest, not many but dangerous because in order to pursue their interests they don’t hesitate to make a pact with the devil, Ethiopia. The liberation of Eritrea in 1991 made happy an entire people and drove the invader out, however, that invader had fueled for many years the welfare of some sectors of society that suddenly found themselves cut off from their own private paradise.
The religious and the wheeler-dealers lived golden years with the Ethiopians in power in Eritrea, no matter if at the expense of an entire people. With the Ethiopians they did business, at that time every week whole containers of donations arrived from rich countries and aid were distributed through the charitable hands of the vast plethora of organizations which managed it in a way whose sad memory is still an open and painful wound for the Eritreans who in need had to submit to any kind of blackmail.
Independence meant the end of all charitable activities managed in that way and it caused a radical change with respect to what is still the norm in Ethiopia, and here we are: religious and wheeler-dealers reappear not as supporters of Eritrean rights, otherwise they would ask loudly for compliance with the Algiers Agreements, but only as supporters of the criminalization of President Isaias.
Last of the series is the protagonist of the article mentioned at the beginning, ‘Andebrhan Woldegiorgis, the Eritrean Ambassador to the EU until 2006’. Andebrhan is not a common personality, he held several prestigious positions as director of the University of Asmara, director of Eritrea Bank and others, before being appointed Ambassador to the European Union. However, Andebrhan’s commitment has always been characterized by his particular inability to relate with his colleagues and an individualist tendency which made him precede his personal welfare to institutional commitment.
It is certainly no coincidence that his anti Eritrean and fiercely anti Isaias feeling was manifested in 2006, without any warning signal but it happened at the very end of his mandate, when he was summoned home to move to a new office. Exactly at that moment he seemed struck by a late afterthought of all those principles that for many years he had staunchly defended in the European Community.
Instead of returning to Eritrea, he sought asylum in Brussels and began his new exile gilded life that allowed him to maintain the standard of living to which he was accustomed by now and that he believed it was appropriate with his personality. Perhaps the idea was to be able to return one day in Eritrea through the back door with the Ethiopians and the coup leaders, with the religious and those who are unhappy they have never managed to establish advantageous (for them) business relationship with what was once their mother homeland.
Andebrhan wanted to ride the wave of the discomfort of some to become a kind of representative as opponent, or rather, as anti government, but even in that occasion his intent proved unsuccessful because he was isolated and rejected even by the hostile fringes to the GoE as when he went to Bologna in 2014 with the intention of taking the floor during a rally held by some young opponents who were demonstrating against the Eritrean Festival of forty and he was kicked out for not taking part in the march protest preferring to stay until the last in the comfortable multi-star hotel where he was staying.
In his rambling speech published by “Avvenire”Andebrhan performs in such a dramatic interpretation as perfectly adherent to a bromidic script which corrupts the media around the world for years, taking care not name Ethiopia and its historical refusal to comply with the decisions of the Boundary Commission and to liberate the Eritrean sovereign territories that Ethiopia militarily occupies for  years.
It was not by chance that his words align perfectly with those of Giulio Albanese, priest and founder of MISNA, who always booms in Avvenire:
“… There is no doubt that Isaias and his clan should be judged, in no uncertain terms, by an international criminal tribunal, having reduced the country to a kind of open-air prison. But to achieve it we also need a greater cooperation with the African Union (AU)… The recent conviction of former president-dictator of Chad, Hissène Habré, found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to life in Senegal, bodes well… Well, in this case, the conferment, given by the AU, of a special mandate to Senegal to prosecute the crimes committed by Habré at home, could be applied against Isaias who continues with impunity to do as he pleases… “.
So, in a nutshell, this is the next coming program; the show will be held on the stage of the African Union, key players… the usual!
*Translated from by Michela Messina