Eritrea – Ethiopia: The Folklore of Neighborhood

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Now is a vital moment for the Eritrean people and government not to be sidetracked by any challenge faced. As long as they have proved that they are on their own and will no longer enter in such kind of bad and childish politics, its commitment to peace and security will over time prevail.

By Amanuel Zekarias,

Once upon a time, the world was ruled by a noble king. He was wise and acted lawfully on behalf of his subjects. Accordingly, his followers were very loyal to his rule. One day he called his followers and told them, he would give them whatever they asked for, but first each of his followers had to name a beloved neighbor. After which, each of his followers received what they asked for, put in a surprised manner the king told his followers he was going to gift out a double of what they received to their friendly neighbors. The king did this so as to evaluate the degree of love and compassion his followers had towards each other. Though, most of his followers accepted this decree gladly, there was one individual who had regretted his decision.

The man went to his King and asked if he can blind his one eye, in hopes that the king would end up blinding his neighbor’s two eyes. The king struck his subject one eyes blind but didn’t do anything to his follow neighbor. Upon learning what the king had done, the regretful man, grumbled asking why he didn’t blind his neighbor’s two eyes, to which the King answered, the blind eye isn’t what I had to double in your neighbor but the one that was left to see.

Eritrea and Ethiopia are the two neighbors. They share the same history, geography and norms in such a way that, social scientists articulate “history makes nations the same, geographically with the same cultural norms and an interdependent economy”. Eritrea not only ends up the unlawful Ethiopian colonial invasion of the imperialist dreams, but also absolves the past wrongdoings by opening its ports for Ethiopian import-export business activities of post 1991 era. Eritrea took the first move in establishing a friendly neighborhood, based on the principle of mutual –coexistence, sovereign integrity and communality of interests.

But, it was the TPLF dominated Ethiopian regime who re-opened the ‘friend-foe’ paradox by trying to change the power equation in 1998. Part of the ill-informed political agenda, was to establish an Ethiopian hegemony across the region, and make the TPLF leaders regional lords, Eritrea was marked as a target to achieve such an unattainable dream. By the supervision and blessings of the western super-powers, 1998 became a year that began the war for invasion, a once and again hopes of annexation and facilitation of Woyane dreams.

It was the most bloodiest border war in the region’s history, within a short period of time a total of hundreds of thousands had been killed for a mere political illusions. Time was lost and resources ravaged. These resources could have been a transformative tool, if it was invested in handling poverty reduction, improving education and the poor Ethiopian society which condemned to have visionary leaders capable of emancipating it from the tells of ‘hitting poverty lines’.

In 2002 a ceasefire was agreed and the Algeries Agreement was signed, which revealed two important truths. First, Ethio-Eritean boundary was virtually demarcated and as the contesting town of Badme was rewarded to Eritrea, which was a great moment for the country. Second, it had also been a shiny truth for an observer to watch the Ethiopian regime admit its historical imperial dreams, by continuing the unlawful occupation of another country’s territory, post an international recognized agreement. To justify this, the TPLF regime started its new political drama of putting the Algiers agreement as ‘null and void’. The phrase of ‘no war, no peace’ doesn’t belong to Ethiopia because the acronym of ‘no peace’ had already been changed into war.

Over the last 16 years, persistent provocative actions like militarizing the border, shooting and harboring of terrorists have been evoked. The Ethiopian government also has been strenuous in isolating Eritrea through misinformation, demonization and propaganda as a day to day tactical home work. This was aimed at, isolating Eritrea and subordinating it from both regional and international engagements-so far by making a space to deceptive lies-to accuse and make it look guilty by screen writing novelist accusations.

Baseless and fabricated lies, reportedly added with the misguided political management of the TPLF patrons victimize Eritrea to sanctions by the international bodies. The sanctions were militarily calculated, politically strategized and economically managed to make Eritrea weak and subject Eritrea to continues external decisions by neighbor Ethiopia.

Then the folklore of “neighborhood” and the justifiable decision of the noble and righteous king come into existence. Eritrea breaks all the fences, ensures its being and overturns the expectation of the evil-minded neighbor. Despite the timely and nonstop challenges posed, the Eritrean people and government have been strongly focuses in their developmental momentum for maintaining a prosperous societal make up, with the principle of self-reliance and social justice.

Furthermore, Eritrea also bypasses all the rules of the ‘game’ by refuting the untruth, unjust and criminal political opinions of outsiders-sometimes carried out through covers up in the name of the Ethiopian government and other organizations. By surviving this, Eritrea had exposed the world how states have been victims of international injustices solely for trying to forge their own destiny.

Time is then came that witnesses who lost the past 15 years, the one who stand in its own or the one who follows what is told to do so. Ethiopian society is in an unfolding dangerous situation of hunger crises and internal political turmoil. Between 10 to 15 million people are in need of food assistance while up to 430,000 children are suffering from severe malnutrition. Although most of the Horn of Africa is impacted by the drought, Ethiopia is the worst hit with the current crisis compounded by some of the strongest El Niño weather patterns. I am not grateful to upraise such a natural phenomena except in one case.

The Horn of Africa which covers almost all member states, Southern part of Africa, Western Africa, Middle East and Latin America are all but the victims of El Nino weather phenomena. Then the question I shall raise is then that, why is the name Ethiopia, which have been in a drama of the fastest economic growth ever, with its goal to be a member of the middle income countries block, repeatedly broadcasted as the worst hunger victim, but not Eritrea, Sudan, South Africa and Brazil? It has a shiny answer which underlines that the TPLF political management of projecting crises through the victimization of neighbors is one cause. Subsequently, rampant endemic corruption, the unaccountable misuse of the Ethiopian resources by the TPLF political figures also exacerbates the problem.

What we see in Ethiopia today is public outrage of anger, defiance, opposition, uproar calls for justice against the TPLF dominated EPRDF regime with its unsatisfactory trends and the brutal response of the regime toward such attitudes. Gross human right violations have been committed by the government and recently more than 400 innocent civilians have been killed by their own government according to HRW’s report issued in this month.

Many accounts of injustice, massacres like that committed in Oromo, government deception, and other atrocities committed are beginning to foment various resistance movements and every Ethiopian citizen is of critical to the EPRDF regime. Some blame its corrupt system as a sole cause of hunger, some objects the land grabbing and the subsequent victimization of poor Ethiopian peasants, and most critical one, the sign of losing confidence, various identity questions in large parts of the country which signifies the failure of ethnicization of politics through the federalist calculations are starting to challenge the regime. The regrettable speech of Hailemariam Deslegne in his parliamentary speech of 2016 also proved this, when he said

Therefore, time is all but in the end for the EPRDF political architects, which have been quite busy in victimizing their best neighbor, not because they are wishing to but could no longer control and manage it. Sunday’s (June 12) attack against Eritrea then proves, EPRDF’s incapability of managing Ethiopian politics assuming the following rationales: first, Ethiopia is in a pregnancy of multitude internal political crises which will predominantly erupt foreseeable future. Subsequently, as a diverting strategy, fermenting hot crises which are capable of shaking the Ethiopian masses have been fabricated by telling ‘the northerners are coming’.

Second, Woyane’s 1998 invasion of Eritrea was not its calculation. It was programmed, calculated and materialized by the USA. After Algiers agreement ended the war in 2002, a new order of gambling by international law through occupying a sovereign country’s territory have been prearranged. Then what came later was TPLF leader’s inconsistent mood of insecurity of managing such kind of crises for a long period of time and are in a need of emancipating from the blind order of the USA, which clearly undermines Ethiopia’s national interest. They attempt then, by unlocking an attack against Eritrea, leading to regional and international attentions, a step for a final solution to the heavy burdens and consequently freeing themselves from the ignorant USA orders.

Third, what the TPLF admits for and worked for, almost 25 years of independence had been extremely hostile toward Eritrea as a nation and its mass- centered government. It was purely aimed force Eritrea to consolidate existence towards Ethiopia, using different hoax mechanisms, such as; underestimating Eritrea struggle for independence, distorting and falsifying history, cultivating crisis either by real invasions or through propaganda, very distorted media and diplomatic campaigning, marionette, pulling citizens by titling them as ‘survivors’, working to cut Eritreans national narratives through demonizing national figures (COI latest attempt to criminalize Eritrean leaders is the works of Woyane and its lords)…etc.

What reality proves is a turn-around, an inconceivable economic, political and social progress attained by Eritrea at macro level. Prospective future is at hand with advancement in structuring of both legal and political progressive procedures. Eritrea jubilant celebration of its 25 Silver Jubilee Independence Day Anniversary further heightened TPLF’s headaches. This simply frustrated the TPLF into the recent 12th June attack.

Now is a vital moment for the Eritrean people and government not to be sidetracked by any challenge faced. As long as they have proved that they are on their own and will no longer enter in such kind of bad and childish politics, focusing on maintaining their solidarity and strongly committing in their developmental activities is of prominent importance. What tomorrow brings for Eritreans is strongly articulated by today’s tolerance, hard work and self-coordination. Eritrea’s commitment to peace and security will over time prevail, at the end of the day, what you receive is always what you have already invests for. For those who dream of war, we could only explain that a gun has no heart and brain, but is ordered by the man who holds it. Then don’t create an opportunity for your own demise!