Eritrea Summons German and UK Ambassadors Over Smear Coverage

UN and Germany Ambassadors summoned by Eritrea's Foreign Ministry over smear reports
Germany and UK ambassadors to Asmara have been summoned earlier this week by the Foreign Ministry to seek clarification over broadcasting of ‘unbridled smear’ campaigns by their respective State-funded broadcasters, the DW and BBC Tigrinya.


Eritrea’s foreign ministry summoned Germany’s ambassador to Asmara earlier this week over “unbridled smear campaigns” by the state-funded international broadcaster, the Deutsche Welle (DW), against the country, Eritrea’s Information Minister Yemane Gebremeskel has said.

The foreign ministry would seek “clarification / rectification” from the ambassador over Deutsche Welle’s “despicable” coverage of national service in Eritrea, and the peace process with Ethiopia, he added in a tweet.

Asked if the government can do the same with the British Ambassador against BBC Tigrinya (locally known as BBC Tigray), a UK government-funded outfit that routinely misrepresent Eritrea through a biased and incessant vitriol, the Minister signaled that a similar summon was “served to the UK Ambassador, more than a couple of times in the past.”

He also hinted that “there are other tools/options when” such summons “are not heeded and appropriate remedies not subsequently taken.”

The German Foreign Ministry today defended the accusation by stressing on the importance of press freedom.

In its response, the German Foreign Ministry described the broadcaster as “an independent media outlet [although fully financed by the State] that works to high journalistic standards.”

“Press freedom is a valuable asset and prerequisite for a functioning democracy,” the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

DW has not issued a formal response on the matter yet.

Editor’s Opines:

What Was Deutsche Welle Actually Wrote to Cause such a ‘Scandal’?

One of the reports that DW accused of misrepresenting Eritrea was a recent  commentary written by the Head of DW Amharic desk, Ludger Schadomsky, regarding the Nobel Peace Prize that was awarded to PM Abiy Ahmed and the peace deal between Eritrea and Ethiopia.

This Schadomsky person stated that the Nobel prize actually goes to the wrong person. He argued that, despite the Nobel committee’s well-meaning intentions, PM Abiy Ahmed is the wrong choice, simply because his peace initiative efforts with Eritrea have come to a standstill, or it may even have stopped completely.

“Those peace efforts, however, have come to a standstill; they may even have stopped completely.

True, family members and business people are now able to commute via 50-minute flights between the two respective capitals, Addis Ababa and Asmara. But this is the privilege of only a small elite.

Border crossings such as Zalambessa, which are much more important when it comes to public transportation and movement of goods and which were opened with a lot of fanfare, have all been closed again in the meantime — at Eritrea’s instigation, Ethiopia was quick to point out.

The initial shuttle diplomacy pursued by Abiy and Eritrea’s autocratic ruler Isaias Afewerki has come to a halt. The Eritrean embassy in Addis Ababa continues to remain boarded up while grandiose business contracts [what contract??] that were signed have never been brought to life.

By now, both countries have rather resorted to forging unholy strategic alliances with countries located beyond the Red Sea, in accordance with that age-old motto that Horn of Africa nations ascribe to: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

Will the Prize eventually endanger peace efforts?

The editor once again disapproved of the prize by further saying that the PM only signed the Peace Agreement on paper.

Here, he deliberately blindfolded his readers the very fact that the two countries had actually implemented five of the seven points they agreed on the peace plan already, and the main part of the deal that was still not  yet implemented, i.e. troop withdrawal from Eritrean territories, was because of the fierce opposition from the authorities in Tigray, hence, warrants to closure of the border with Tigray region indefinitely.

“So Abiy has received the most prestigious peace prize for a peace that exists, predominantly, only on paper.

Worse still: the award could, eventually, even torpedo those peace efforts, if the Eritrean leadership felt put under pressure to an even greater extent than before.

The grumpy autocrat from Asmara, who ruthlessly keeps his own people in chains so he can remain in power, is unlikely to enjoy being snubbed under the eyes of the world by a charismatic politician half his age,”

writes this arrogant DW editor, Mr. Schadomsky.

Moreover, the editor stated that the PM received congratulatory notes from all over the world, except from Eritrea.

One day before he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Abiy had invited heads of state and government from all over the region to take part in a huge “Medemer” celebration. Sudan, Somalia and Uganda all sent their representatives while only one distinguished guest was absent — Eritrean President Afewerki, Abiy’s partner in the “reconciliation” process.

It is likely that the award of the Nobel Peace Prize has raised the bar for Abiy instead of lowering it.

This arrogant Schadomsky is hiding, once again, some context from his readers. The celebration was actually meant to inaugurate a certain ‘Unity Park’ inside the Palace. The park may have the best intention of reconciling the Ethiopian people with their past. However, the park was also designed to signify and glorify Ethiopia’s past rulers and kings, something that is not palatable among Eritreans due to past heinous crimes committed by each of these leaders.

So the foolish attempt by Mr. Schadomsky to try to link up Eritrea’s absence at the event with some kind of a stain to the peace process shows how irresponsible his reporting was, besides exposing his stupid self.