ንዘልኣለም ተምበርኪኹ ዝነብር ህዝቢ የለን - Enough! ይኣክል! ! كافية

No Rights Progress in Eritrea After Peace Deal With Ethiopia

GENEVA — U.N. experts say Eritrea’s human rights record has not changed for the better since the government signed a peace agreement with Ethiopia last year, formally ending a two decades-long border conflict.

Eritreans stuck in Switzerland lose faith in a better future

Un requérant d'asile montre un lieu sur une carte du monde

Thousands of failed asylum seekers cannot be sent back and refuse to return home voluntarily. Many continue to live in Switzerland with emergency assistance, with no prospect of a future. Young Eritreans share their stories.

Eritrea keeps mandatory national service despite 'peace' – HRW worried

Eritrea keeps mandatory national service despite 'peace' – HRW worried

International rights group, Human Rights Watch, HRW; says it is worried at the lack of action on fundamental human rights by Eritrea.

ABIY-ISIAS’S CONSPIRACY BLOSSOMS NEW LEAVES DAILY TURNING 2019 INTO A YEAR OF OUR CRITICAL GROUND GAME

In many countries, including Africa, it is common for leaders to have one major scandal in foreign relations, which the press would latch and unravel. With Atse Isias, since the day the agreement of disgraceful compromises and treacherous surrender was signed with Dr. Abiy Ahmed, the Ethiopian Prime Minister, every scandal he committed, undermining the sovereignty of the Eritrean state,


 
ABIY-ISIAS’S CONSPIRACY BLOSSOMS NEW LEAVES DAILY TURNING 2019 INTO A YEAR OF OUR CRITICAL GROUND GAME:
Abdu Habib
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
In many countries, including Africa, it is common for leaders to have one major scandal in foreign relations, which the press would latch and unravel. With Atse Isias, since the day the agreement of disgraceful compromises and treacherous surrender was signed with Dr. Abiy Ahmed, the Ethiopian Prime Minister, every scandal he committed, undermining the sovereignty of the Eritrean state, was soon followed by something else equally or more horrible. This is something we did not see in modern political science. Nonetheless, the oddest of all is that his supporters want the Eritrean people to believe that the Atse is doing all that out of smartness and having the best interest of the country at heart. This has produced a strange feeling among the Eritrean people: the feeling that the solid ground is giving way beneath their feet.  In few words, the ocean of anger is rising, as an overt manifestation against this conspiracy and the accompanying ridiculous claim.  
For people who have lived in a world of high intellectual expectations and accomplishment, smartness or intelligence (though the two concepts are slightly different) is tangible and real so that it does not reveal itself so much through grades, test scores or degrees as through the way people think, speak, behave, or do things. To make things clearer, the term “smartness” deserves further explanation here because we see it widely abused by the supporters of the butcher, presenting it as one of his major traits.  
Smartness is a human attribute that enables one to observe the universe and its phenomenon rationally and makes him a generalist about everything, on the one hand, and a specialist in any specific field, on the other. We have listened to many of his speeches and interviews, and we have enough familiarity with the way he makes decisions. Consequently, we ask: Does he see things rationally? He could be a generalist about everything, though we cannot tell for sure, but the fundamental issue is:  Did that help him visualize the past, analyze and face the present, and forecast the future on basis of the information he has gathered over the time?
2
 
Most importantly: Does he understand the limits of his own knowledge and capacities and defer others when necessary?   Add to that: Is he a specialist in any field? It is difficult to find any other specialization of the Atse except his expertise in conspiracy, wickedness, and contempt to law and order. It is always disgusting to remember that he is the only one who annually gives interviews to the only media in the country, the state-run media. This way, we could answer the two question.
Back to the claim that he is smart, we know that smartness equips the person with up-to-date precise information that would make him free from ignorance, arrogance, and all sort of bigotry. Further, the smart person understands the word “relativity” very well in every aspect of life and its surroundings. If this  is smartness theoretically: Does a smart leader shatter the dreams of his people by failing to yield any progress in 27 years and systematically destroy everything over 100,000 martyrs had built through their blood, setting the stage for the total surrender of Eritrea’s sovereignty? Is this the successful leadership PFDJ supporters praise by singing and dancing, rubbing themselves with the national flag they have betrayed? Can’t anybody clearly see that this leadership brought the country to its knees so that people would be forced to accept Ethiopia as the only option?  
Still we have a place to make the comparison in terms of smartness. Is he smarter than all martyrs, his former compatriots he put in jail, or met their ultimate end there, wounded veteran fighters, highly-skilled and distinctively intellectual elites forced to leave the country to save their skin and others to kneel down to His Majesty? Is he smarter, in terms of having a national vision, concrete socioeconomic achievements for the people, rule of law and justice, than Meles Zinawi who came to power at the same time? The answer to both questions is: Not even 10% closer. This is to say the odds that the Atse is smart and has the best interest of Eritrea at heart is virtually zero, after the 27 years of ruin and destruction that turned the country into medieval times and made our elegant, noticeably cheerful and highly-gifted people look like cave-dwellers. Look at the recent photos of the destitute moving skeletons in the streets of Asmara and ask yourself: Is this the Asmara I know?  
3
 
The declared supporters of the regime and the unexposed opportunists, who hide their support, are getting restless and extremely irritated whenever they hear the word “sovereignty” these days, let alone the overwhelming argument that the Atse is working so hard, conspiring against Eritrea’s sovereignty. Can they really be called good Eritreans if defending the right of Eritrea to exist as an independent nation irritates them? Though the adversaries could depict us as obsessed with the issue, we will talk about our sovereignty and continue teaching different aspects that we have not raised yet, until the danger hovering over our country is over, with the Atse thrown to the dustbin of history, following the Mubarak’s model, the Gadaffi’s model, or the Saddam Hussain’s model. For the Eritrean people, who have no other option but end the nightmare by any means, the end justifies the means. But the fact remains that it is this knowledge about sovereignty that insulates our people against the misleading information, distortion of history, and malicious designs of the regime and its allies, Ethiopian expansionists. Now we know why they fear the word “sovereignty” as a thrusting weapon.
To be honest, sovereignty is under threat in the 21st century because we see European Union forcing small countries to do what large countries want. Their justification is international organizations and agreements are incompatible with the concept of national sovereignty. This is what Ethiopia of Dr. Abiy Ahmed is currently propagating and trying to do with the countries of the Horn of Africa: creating the “sovereignty of the Horn of Africa”, with Ethiopia’s domination, at the expense of the national sovereignty of other states. Just monitor the visits of the hopeless neighbouring African tyrants and where they take them for an orientation tour to create the temptation to accept constraints on sovereignty on the national level in favour of fake prospects of collective economic growth.  It remains to be seen whether this will work, but my feeling is that it will not, given the expansionist aspirations of the Ethiopian state, lack of transparency in the secret cooperation agreements with tyrants terribly hated by their own peoples, while preventing the peoples of the region from participation in the decision-making process and control. Even in the European Union, where democratic institutions exist, it has
4
 
become pessimistic to create “European sovereignty” when we see the pendulum is currently swinging towards the national direction.  
In short, we tell the expansionists that it is through the use of their sovereignty that states enter into international or regional arrangements. This will lead us to the questions: Why is sovereignty still relevant though we speak about globalization?  Why do we have fears that regional arrangements could serve as the tool of the big or strong to dominate the weak or the small?  
Though there are positive bloodlines in our region of the Horn of Africa, national sovereignty hugely matters, and without it, the dominant country in the regional grouping (in this case Ethiopia) will destroy humanity just to enable their identity and national interests to dominate. One would ask: Would we be happy to see Eritrea merged into one large uninspiring landmass without identity?  
As sufficiently stressed above, sovereignty with its characteristics detailed in my previous articles and those of others, is very real. Nobody could erase it because it is closely associated with culture, and the way different countries aspire and plan the socio-economic development of their respective countries, and execute their plans, according to the particular conditions and realities on the ground. However, this does not mean that regional arrangements could not be useful. They would for sure, provided that they take place under certain conditions. Here we raise the critical question: What pre-conditions should exist in order to have cooperation or economic integration with Ethiopia and others, for that matter?
Of course, if there is a fair play, executed through genuine and transparent process, based on real public consultation and participation in decision-making, as we will show below, we can retain our sovereignty and at the same time be a part of a greater Horn of Africa. If the conditions we list below are in place, the regional arrangements and national sovereignty would not be mutually exclusive. In concrete terms, to benefit from regional arrangements and to avoid been taken advantage of, we believe the following pre-conditions should exist in Eritrea:
5
 
• An elected constitutional government, with equally important and independent branches, namely: executive, legislative and judiciary.  
• An independent mass media that has an influence on the ethics of public life, as a watchdog monitoring the conduct of government officials.  
Nonetheless, what we see going on today under the scheme of “Madamar” is the opposite of what we understand to be a mutually beneficial economic cooperation or integration because none of the above conditions exist in Eritrea. The Atse’s choice is clear: Eritrea should die so that Ethiopia lives. Following the same line of thought, and that is the original script the Atse is executing, what the Ethiopians want are agreements that totally leave out the Eritrean people and put them in total darkness from what is going on.  Things are artfully designed this way. Ethiopians know dictators could easily be compromised, not representatives of the people or democratically elected officials. This is surgically done in a meticulous way, keeping the agreements secret from the people, the owners of the country.  
In fact, Ethiopians are not hiding their ulterior motive behind the so called “peace agreement” with Eritrea. At the same time, Atse Isias is not hiding the motive he shares with them either. In this connection, we should not be naïve enough to take what we hear from the Ethiopian leadership as a slip of the tongue. They are said intentionally and on basis of a well-thought of conspiracy plan in which other regional powers and their Western masters participate. This is their way of gradually preparing us for what they have in store for Eritrea, telling us in small doses what will come. It is a clear message for those whose ears are ready to listen. But basically we ask ourselves: Does the Ethiopian way of giving hints by drops soften the coming blow?  Can we ignore the danger coming from Ethiopia while it is staring at us at the face?  
The danger Ethiopia constitutes is not ignored by Eritreans in Diaspora but they are engaged in different activities to be the voice of the voiceless against the brutal dictator, while defending the sovereignty of their country from Ethiopia’s encroachment. There is an amazing and well-coordinated campaign going on mostly among the facebook community of our young men and women, as a push
6
 
to spread the word about their stand on what is going on in the country and its suspicious relations with Ethiopia, saying enough to miseries and pain for our people and demanding the resignation of the Atse, each one concluding his/her message by nominating friends to do the same. This campaign and the vigor with which it has been conducted have secured the participation of diverse contingents of our society in Diaspora. It is exerting a remarkable pressure on the regime and the cronies of the dictator, convincing some of the rational supporters, who had been growing weary of the Abiy-Isias’s drama, to defect and join the campaign. These ‘facebook youth’, as we sometimes call them, are incredible and amazing young men and women who know what it means to fight for the people and they are determined to continue until our people get the solutions they need. This campaign, together with protests to appeal to the international community and other diverse activities, make up a part of our game on the ground for the critical year of 2019.  
Other than the activities raised above, there are groups and civil organizations saying enough to the regime, raising the bar to ask the dictator to step down and hand over power to the people. The harshest of all were the two messages from the wounded veteran fighters, who in their second message demanded the physical liquidation of the Dictator. This deserves special treatment in this piece because of the following reasons:
• The proposal is coming at the most critical time of our history, even more critical than the period of the struggle against the oppressive Ethiopian occupation.  
• A call to resort to homicide is the first of its kind, as a proposed solution from a collective, at least to my knowledge.
• It is coming from the most respected survivals of the war of liberation, carrying the effects of lost limbs of their bodies, as their medals of honour.
This takes us to the question: Is homicide of dictators justified? To answer this question, we need to see the circumstances under which it is justified. Here the
7
 
pre-condition is put in the form of the question: Does it prevent greater harm to the innocent people? We are confident that our wounded veteran fighters are sane, sober and thoughtful enough to see that the butcher poses an imminent threat to the life and well-being of the people. This was the way Americans justified the assassination of Ben Laden in 2011. We understand that homicide may not sit well with some Eritreans. I do not like it either, but we should not forget that Eritrea is not Sweden or Canada, where people could remove a leader they find working against their interests or the interests of the nation, through the ballot box. Taking all these into consideration, the questions that come into our mind here are:  
• What do we do in Eritrea to remove the leader whose indefinite stay in power would mean the death of additional tens of thousands of citizens in prison, in deserts and seas, shot at border crossings, become victims of direct physical liquidations under any pretext, mysterious disappearances…etc.?  
• Should we leave the wicked and the brutal Dictator continue committing such dangerous crimes and wait until he dies or hands over power to his son, as many tend to believe would do?  
• Don’t we, as people, have the right to self-defence as codified for states in article 51 of the UN Charter?  
To cast more light into these questions, it is appropriate to share other human experiences concerning the assassination of a dictator. The most relevant historical example we could cite would be the position of the German citizen of the Nazi era, Dietrich Bonheoffer, on Hitler. When Nazi oppression worsened in Germany and Bonheoffer became aware of the potential wickedness and brutality of Hitler, he stepped up his activism to stop him and was involved in a failed attempt to assassinate Hitler. He justified the plot as a consistent measure with his Christian faith, saying the following:  
“If I see a madman driving a car into a group of innocent bystanders, then I can't, as a Christian, simply wait for the catastrophe and then comfort the
8
 
wounded and bury the dead. I must try to wrestle the steering wheel out of the hands of the driver.”        
Interestingly enough, when the plot failed and he was exposed, Bonheoffer got out of Germany by June 1939, making it to the United States. However, he returned to Germany after few weeks. He said the following to justify his return to Germany:
“I have come to the conclusion that I made a mistake in coming to America...I shall have no right to take part in the restoration of Christian life in Germany after the war unless I share the trials of this time with my people.”
To drive the desired points home, we wrap up this interesting issue by asking the following remarkably teasing questions as additional insights:  
• Are Atse Isias’s wickedness and brutality committed on the people who had been exhausted by 30-year war of liberation less harmful than those of Hitler in Nazi Germany? Whose play book is he using when it comes to the establishment of concentration camps and techniques of torture? Does the absence of gas chambers make difference when the end is one and the same: the deliberate killing of innocent people?
• If the same type of wickedness and brutality against humanity deserved assassination in 1930s, why assassination becomes immoral in the year 2019? Did the human lives savagely ended by the deliberate crimes of dictators drop in value now?
•  If Bonheoffer, an ordinary German citizen, was so patriotic to stop Hitler in order to save lives from his wickedness and brutality, why our wounded veteran fighters who had lost limbs of their bodies and had buried their compatriots during the 30-year war to save their people from the scorchedearth policy followed by Ethiopia do not have the right to resist Dictator Isias, in the way they see it appropriate, and save the rest of their people from death and destruction?  
• If Bonheoffer with his 1930s level of consciousness takes the risk of returning to Germany while Hitler was on power, in order to share the trying times with his people, do we have the right to celebrate the victory against Dictator Isias
9
 
and his criminal gang tomorrow without playing our role in the activism of resistance now?
Moreover, there are two more issues that need to be raised before we wrap up this piece. Both could be brought under the theme “Reform” because they share one common thread.  
The first is the rumour that the Atse is going to hand over power to his son, Abraham. This is a suggestion of “reform”, if at all we assume it came out of a genuine intent, that the old should leave power to the young, though this particular notion follows a family dynastic line. Since every reader’s guess is as good as mine, I would not worry about the source of the rumour and why it sprung up multiple times whenever the struggle against the Atse increased heat and showed remarkable progress.
I would say off hand, the source of the rumour fails to hide their stunning level of superficial knowledge and plain ignorance about the wishes and dreams of the Eritrean people, showing their contempt and conceit. This makes us look down on them, whoever they are. Though the level of stupidity or naivety of the source and the promoters of the rumour is shocking, it does not deserve any comment except reminding them, with a touch of cynicism that, if Atse Isias claims decent from the Ethiopian Solomonic Dynasty that ended in 1974 by a coup, it could only be restored in Ethiopia; not in Eritrea, which is a sovereign state. Further, we would advise them to remember, and if this is new to them to study the saying, “The apple does not fall far from the tree.” This could be seen as a badly-worded remark but it is to urge them, as an Eritrean, to learn and evolve through the learning curve.
The second issue is the call for reform by some genuine Eritreans, following the Ethiopian pattern. Here the demands are known because we have heard them repeatedly (No need to recycle). They are good and nobody disagrees on them, but we should not forget whom we are addressing. Just we need to remember: Why were the G15 members thrown to jail and why are those surviving still languishing there waiting for their slow death? This is to conclude that, first, we are demanding the impossible, and second, we are lowering our bar. It is not the time to present demands to the brutal criminal gang that had heard the same demands for over two
10
 
decades and ignored them with contempt and arrogance. The time to repeat the same demands has already passed. It is time to press and struggle to force the Atse to step down so that we could secure the implementation of those demands and others we stand for. That is why the Sudanese protesters, who started with simple demands related to their livelihood, have now changed their chants to forcefully demanding the Dictator just to step down, as they put it in the chant:  “Tasqut Wa Bus”.  
The multi-faceted and naked Abiy-Isias’s conspiracy is daily unfolding with new details. From the diplomatic shuttles we see daily, people could guess that something is coming and they smell it, though everything is going under the curtain. We can see that Isias wants to stay in good grace of Abiy and his team, at the cost of the sovereignty of Eritrea. However, he is creating his own demise day by day. If I were to write a book entitled: “HOW TO DAMAGE YOURSELF”, I would include what Atse Isias is doing chapter and verse. But as to Dr. Abiy whom we used to think will open the eyes of the peoples of the region and we prayed for an Eritrean Abiy to spring up one day, now we learn that was not the case. We see him crossing the legal and the ethical boundaries when it comes to Eritrea and strengthening the hand of Dictator Isias, siding with him against the Eritrean people and their legitimate struggle.  
I would add one cautionary note before I wrap up here. Our people did not get here by accident. They fought for it for thirty years, and they will protect their major achievement, the national sovereignty, like the apple of their eye. There could be some setbacks for the time being. Nonetheless, the two conspiracy partners are not going to win because they have already planted the seeds of public resistance, and they are watering and nursing the seeds daily. Accordingly, they have already handed the Eritrean people a hammer to use it against them. Though they could get the support of some regional and Western powers that have vested interest in our Red Sea coastline, their conspiracy could not prevent the year 2019 from turning into the year of our critical ground game. To the contrary, they facilitated it. Their conspiracy is coming back to bite them.=======================

Ethiopia, Eritrean leaders reopen border crossing for trade

Story image for eritrean news from The New Times

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki on Monday officially reopened the Oumhajir-Humera border crossing that connects the two countries.

Eritrean leadership has interest in talks with Tigray : Debretsion

Story image for eritrean news from borkena.com

Tigray regional state president Debretsion Gebremichael told Tigray journalists yesterday that “Tigray leadership and Eritrean leadership are interested in talks,” ..

THE NEO-ANDENET GANG STILL STRUGGLING TO MAKE ERITREA A LOW-HANGING FRUIT EASY FOR ETHIOPIA’S NEO-EXPANSIONSTS TO PICK:

Since the day Eritrea’s Atse and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Dr. Abiy Ahmed, the spearhead of Ethiopia’s neo-expansionist aspirations, signed the so called “peace-agreement “ , followed by very controversial and crude statements, malicious relations, disturbing developments and dubious behaviours that threaten the national sovereignty of our newly-emerged nation and basic legal, ethical and constitutional norms (we do have a constitution though it is not in place but put on the shelf),

THE NEO-ANDENET GANG STILL STRUGGLING TO MAKE ERITREA A LOW-HANGING FRUIT EASY FOR ETHIOPIA’S NEO-EXPANSIONSTS TO PICK:

Abdu Habib

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Since the day Eritrea’s Atse and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Dr. Abiy Ahmed, the spearhead of Ethiopia’s neo-expansionist aspirations, signed the so called “peace-agreement “ , followed by very controversial and crude statements, malicious relations, disturbing developments  and dubious behaviours that threaten the national sovereignty of our newly-emerged nation and basic legal, ethical and constitutional norms (we do have a constitution though it is not in place but put on the shelf), the Eritrean people got the sneak peek at what the hidden motives of all that would be. With every passing day, it is becoming more and more difficult for our people to convince themselves that “History of 1940s, 1950s and 1960s is not repeating itself.” To refresh our memory, these dates constituted a critical time in our people’s history and the struggle for self-determination.

Nonetheless, though the dynamics of the times and the environments differ, it could be said that Abiy’s moves toward Eritrea mirror those of Emperor Haile Sellasie’s, whereas there are parallels between the completing roles of the NEO-ANDENET GANG, led by Atse Isias, and the ANDENET MOVEMENT of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. In this connection, for the sake of absolute fairness and objectivity, it should be made clear here that neither of the gangs represents any social, linguistic or religious segment of our society, in the same way ISIS (Daesh) represents nobody except the culprits themselves.

Though the focus of this piece is not the narration of pre-independence history of the country, it is important to cast light on two questions, namely: Why did Ethiopia want to annex Eritrea since 1940s?  What favourable conditions enabled Ethiopia then?

Accordingly, it is noteworthy that like any other African country, Eritrea was the result of the intervention of European colonialism. This means that the current Eritrea, as a political entity, was the result of the agreements the Italian colonial power reached with the Ethiopian Empire, the British and the French colonial powers that were at that time scrambling for the region. After the Italians left and Eritrea became a British mandate (1941-1952), a new political environment evolved in Eritrea, including the introduction of Eritrean constitution. That created a suitable atmosphere for political activities and freedoms, notably, the formation of political parties.

Making use of the political atmosphere referred to above, the Ethiopian Government campaigned that it was better for Eritreans to be a part of Ethiopia, instead of being ruled by the whites, capitalizing on their religious sentiments and lack of national awareness. The Ethiopian argument made sense to some Eritreans, who had never seen anything else except Turkish, Egyptian and finally European colonialism, and felt that Eritrea shares many things with Ethiopia: culture, religion, ethnicity, and geographical proximity. That led to the founding of the ANDENET MOVEMENT, which the Ethiopian authorities used as the pawn of their expansionist nationalism. Moreover, powers that came out of the WWII victorious, specially, the United States, supported Ethiopia in the UN when the issue of the fate of the former British colonies, one of them Eritrea, was  presented in 1952 for determination, realizing the importance of the strategic location of Eritrea on the Red Sea.

We came this far in our discussion in order to answer the questions raised above. As to the question related to the Ethiopian interest in Eritrea then, the answer is nothing but: ACCESS TO THE SEA. This Ethiopian expansionist nationalism continued even after defeating the Ethiopian occupiers and Eritrea won its national independence in 1991, causing Ethiopia to be a landlocked country. This time, it continued as Ethiopian Neo-Expansionist Nationalism (we will see the definition of the term later), using the former liberation leader, Traitor Isias, as its Trojan horse.  Consequently, we have the current disturbing situation: the Abiy-Isias-Gulf tripartite (involving three parties) conspiracy against the sovereignty of Eritrea, representing Ethiopia’s NEO-EXPANSIONISM, Eritrea’s NEO-ANDENET GANG, and Gulf ambitions of hegemony on the Red Sea, respectively. It is important to note here that the Gulf ambitions on the Red Sea are in total harmony with those of their masters in the West, specially the US.

Ethiopia is not the only landlocked country in Africa. If we accept that there are 55 countries in Africa, recognized by the African Union and the United Nations, about 16 of them (almost 30%) are landlocked. Those who overlook this truth would ask: Does being landlocked matter at all?  No doubt losing access to the sea is a significant blow, politically, militarily and economically. Nonetheless, we do not waste too much time on the obvious.  To that effect, we will try to summarize the situation in a short paragraph below.

Importing and exporting goods is much cheaper and faster over water than land. This means that access to the sea makes it easier for nations to participate in global economy. It is not only in terms of tourism, the world’s largest industry, but lack of access to easy transit is a more deterrent factor at times of natural disaster or violent regional conflicts, making it difficult for people to escape from the danger, or for assistance to reach them. Add to these, the flow of people and ideas that brought innovation to maritime countries largely bypassed the landlocked ones.

In terms of the Ethiopian context, it is appropriate to raise the significant question: What is the landlocked Ethiopia supposed to do? To get the specifics of the dynamics, we will discuss the ideal solution, and the real one on the ground, evolved after the signing of the so called “Peace Agreement” between Dr. Abiy Ahmed and Atse Isias.

In theory, there is (UNCLOS), which is also called the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea Treaty. This is the international agreement resulting from the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III), which took place between 1973 and 1982. These provisions define the rights and responsibilities of nations on how to use the world’s oceans and seas, serving as guidelines concerning business, environment, and management of marine resources. Ethiopia had signed the treaty on December 10, 1982. This shows that Ethiopia has only one legal way to follow, and that is signing treaties with the transit states for its goods and mobility of people. In fact, Ethiopia is lucky because out of the six countries surrounding it (Eritrea, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, the Sudan, & South Sudan) only one has no access to the sea, and that is South Sudan. This is the ideal solution referred to above.

However, the implementation of these guidelines is not always easy. The transit countries, or those with access to the sea, have a remarkable leverage in the implementation. Ethiopia is following the guidelines mainly with Djibouti, the Sudan and Somalia. But when it comes to Eritrea, which has been the target of its expansionist nationalism since 1940s, is using twisted methods, unscrupulous manipulations, artful, unfair and insidious means to illegally control the Eritrean coastline, even after the country won its national independence. As we do not want to pass the term “expansionist nationalism” without defining the term, it is important to raise the question: What is expansionist nationalism? What are its basic features? With which other concept does it share some commonalities?

Expansionist nationalism is opposite of liberal nationalism (dating back to the French Revolution of 1789 and its incendiary slogan of liberty, fraternity and equality), which has two important aspects: the right of self-determination to nations, and firm opposition to imperialism. To have a clearer picture, we raise the question:  In what way is this concept opposed to the aspects of liberal nationalism? The following features of expansionist nationalism should be recognized:

  • It rejects the right of self-determination to nations.
  • It opposes inclusion, diversity and social progress.
  • The mindset of chauvinism and linguistic jingoism (the belief that one’s language is the best and the most original, and that all others are pathetic) are among its major characteristics.
  • It is an extreme form of nationalism, and ultra-nationalism is a core element in fascist ideology, which in many places in the world justified territorial expansion at the cost of the neighbours.
  • Unlike liberal nationalism, which is grounded on mutual respect among sovereign nations, the aim of expansionist nationalism is territorial and economic expansion.  The goal it shares with imperialism (the policy to expand a country’s power and regulate it through diplomacy and military force) is that both acquire new territories to rule.

Taking the foregoing into account:  Could anybody tell me if these features are not amply present in the Ethiopian Neo-Expansionist Nationalism, as manifested by Dr. Abiy Ahmed and his team? Just a quick reminder is that the wide circulation of the old Ethiopian map that included Eritrea, in the social media these days, is one among the many concrete manifestations of the Ethiopian Neo-Expansionist Nationalism. In few words, the sad conclusion is that the Ethiopian expansionist nationalism, which was kicked out through the door, is coming back through the window, with the help or maybe the initiation of Traitor Isias, unfortunately to end up being the leader of the NEO-ANDENET GANG, the pawn of the Ethiopian Neo-expansionist nationalism. The question imposing itself is: In what ways are the NE0-ANDENET and its predecessor, the ANDENET MOVEMENT, similar and different in completing the role of Ethiopia’s Expansionist Nationalism? The foregoing discussion partially answered this question both directly and indirectly but we will try to give a full picture building on that.

It is commonly believed that the Andenet members of 1940s, 1950s and 1960s had no intention to ruin Eritrea, but were ignorant about Ethiopia. It seems their judgment depended on emotions, sentiments, and hatred of colonialism by the white-man. Though I was not old enough to remember that period, specially the first two decades, I can guess the mentality of the time, knowing some who were said had been members of the Andenet Movement.  

It is said ignorance is curable, but I would add, malice and the intent to destroy a country are not. Unlike the Andenet members, the Atse knows who the Ethiopians are, and had been in the struggle playing the game for decades. Though we are not justifying the mistakes and crimes committed by the Andenet members in 1940s, 1950s and 1960s or arguing that ignorance erases the harm done, we believe that there is a deeper reason for the Atse to play a completing role for the Ethiopian Neo-Expansionist aspirations. I do not think we need to elaborate because he has exposed himself enough through his words and deeds, though he and his cult members want us to believe that what he is doing serves the best interest of Eritrea and the region.

All our observations about Ethio-Eritrean relations since the Atse and Dr. Abiy Ahmed became conspiracy partners against the Eritrean people have been conveyed in different ways. But there is one issue we want to raise from a different perspective, though it was raised above as one of the concrete manifestations of Ethiopian Neo-Expansionist Nationalism.   It is the circulation of the old Ethiopian map in which Eritrea is shown as an Ethiopian territory. It is not only circulated in the social media, but is put as a sticker in private vehicles, taxis and buses in Addis Ababa, where Eritrea has an embassy and the Ethiopian Government has eyes and ears everywhere.

Out of the abundance of caution, Dr. Abiy Ahmed’s government was expected to educate the public, realizing that there is a complicated job attached to the title Prime Minister. Instead, it allowed itself to become an accomplice in this violation of Eritrean sovereignty, though after a lot of confusion and sharp reaction from Eritreans abroad, it  tried  to pretend by giving a timid and incomplete apology through one of its embassies. One would be tempted to raise: Was that silence of the Ethiopian Government a test balloon to see how would the Eritrean people react, and based on the reaction, adjust the implementation of the rest of their evil agenda  with their enabler, the Eritrean Traitor-in-Chief?

Though the circulation of the old Ethiopian map is ridiculously silly and just deserves to be ignored because it does not have any consequence on the sovereignty of our country, the silence from the part of the ruling gang in Eritrea and the Government of Ethiopia, puts them in bad light and is a bit alarming, viewed from the perspective of diplomatic relations in which many simple things could have their own meanings and could trigger negative reactions.

We did not hear anything, even as timid as the reaction of the Ethiopia Government, from the Atse or his cronies, complaining against the circulation of the old map.  To put it in the proper context, we ask: Is this silence or tacit consent? It is an act of giving green light by implication or without saying it, which is pretty disturbing. In this connection, it is appropriate to give at least one extreme example of how governments react when they find the sovereignty of their country violated in one way or another. Less extreme methods could include state-to-state complaints that could be written or verbal, and written complaints to the United Nations.

Many of us are old enough to remember when Morocco withdrew from the OAU in 1984, after the OAU approved the membership of the Saharan Arab Democratic Republic, which Morocco does not recognize and thinks the Western Sahara is its territory. At the same time, Morocco severed its diplomatic relations with a number of African countries that recognized the Western Sahara. I am not raising this issue to support Morocco or criticize the OAU, but to show the extent to which governments (not ruling gangs) could go when they think the sovereignty of the country is violated. But for ruling gangs in general and the Eritrean gang in particular, nothing is surprising because patriotism is a rare commodity.

As the time his support is remarkably shrinking and critical support from Ethiopia is the only straw he has to catch to save his dictatorship from sinking, everything the life-long-Tembenay-turned-Gondare at the 11th hour does and says is politically-motivated. Accordingly, it is appropriate to say few things about the current people-to-people diplomacy tour of the Eritrean National Cultural Group. Let us get the basics about people-to-people diplomacy first, before we raise questions and give comments.

The idea of people-to-people diplomacy or citizen exchange, as is sometimes called, is nothing but a trans-national conflict resolution strategy. It reflects the role that private citizens could play in mitigating hostile inter-state relations. After all, it is the ordinary people who form the foundation of a strong and durable bilateral relationship. This non-traditional type of diplomacy stems from the concept that the individual citizen has the right or even the responsibility to help his/her country shape its foreign relations with others.

Based on the facts above, many Eritreans would ask the following critical questions and give the following remarks:

  1. To begin with:
  • Does the Eritrean citizen have basic individual human rights before we expect him/her to help his country shape its foreign relations with others?
  • Is he/she allowed to have a say about the vision of the country? Most of the time, people are on the point. But the issue is that: Since when does the Atse, who takes decisions not on facts but on his own instinct, believe that he should listen to the people?

 

  1. What should be the priority target of people-to-people diplomacy:  regions we have frosty relations with at highest level or where relations are not hostile? In other words, the 1998-2000 Badume war was fought directly with Tigray, not Gojjam, Addis Ababa or Hawassa. This is to raise the question: Does the people-to-people program take the politics out?

 

  1. Was it truly a non-government interaction?

This program is typical of the Atse’s approach. His approach to things does not show that he has the interest to unleash the greater minds and use the country’s resources to benefit the people. On the contrary, he wastes everything, including his focus, attention and love, elsewhere. That is why, these days, in all what the Atse says and does, his audience is the Ethiopian people, whose satisfaction is his ultimate goal, no matter how much that could anger the Eritrean people for whom he has nothing but contempt, hatred and disrespect. To wrap up this part, we ask: Could it make sense that the devil who had opened wars with four neighbouring countries and currently participating in the war of genocide against the Yemenis would truly believe in people-to-people diplomacy? Who is the naïve to believe this joke?

The whole course of events directed against the Eritrean people is truly testing the limits of the old saying, “Every cloud has a silver lining.” Here we see the two players, the Atse and his Ethiopian partner, ignoring the people as a harmless or marginal force. This is devastatingly shortsighted. Nevertheless, as any sad situation, this may have a more hopeful or positive aspect, though it may not be immediately apparent. That is why the American poet, Emily Dickson (1830-1883), wanted to teach us that, “People need hard times and oppression to develop psychic muscles.” This will lead us to the big question: Do all events discussed in this piece and other hostile developments help Ethiopia’s Neo-expansionist nationalism and its pawn the Neo-Andement scheme of Traitor Isias? 

The high levels of dissatisfaction we see amid our people and the fast shrinking of the support of the regime will definitely have counterproductive effects: radicalization of the public opinion against the regime. The regime has not learned from other countries, where dissatisfaction led to peaceful street protests, and the inevitable subsequent interference of the army, finally causing the total collapse of the regime. Look at the Sudan, where we have seen heroic deeds in the streets of all major cities for the last two months.

According to some press reports, since December 2019, 31 people have been killed by the security forces and militiamen, while others raise the number to 52. Yet, the protests are continuing daily because no force can break the will of the people. Finally, as a God-send gift to the people of the Sudan, on February 15, 2019, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, expressed his hope that “…calls by the Sudanese people for regime change will be heard.” Moreover, he made an urgent call to the international community to mount pressure on Al-Bashier to step down and “…allow a peaceful democratic transition in the Sudan.” Given this situation: What is the most possible scenario?

Observers who are familiar with the situation and the history of the revolutionary movements in the Sudan expect the following to happen:

  • The protesters will escalate the variety of their activities and their numbers will rapidly increase, joined by those standing on the sidelines.
  • The international pressure on the President will reach the tipping point.
  • There could be change of heart from the side of the security and the army, leading to a swift collapse of the government, leading to the escape of Al-Bashier or his arrest. Here they rule out the possibility that the movement could be crashed.

One would ask:  Why are you interested in other country’s affair to that extent? We are interested in the Sudanese developments because our country would be affected by them. This will lead us to the legitimate question: What would be the repercussions of these developments on Eritrea? The saying:  “When Paris catches cold, Europe sneezes.” is always true and relevant because it shows the significance of geographical proximity and all things that accompany it.  If there is somebody who thinks that Eritrea would be immune, he/she should either be exceptionally naïve or too ignorant to read symptoms we see since the failure of the Forto operation.

In a nutshell, all developments taking place in Eritrea are accumulating, preparing the ground for the Sudan-like eruptions. Once the West, led by the US, reacts positively towards events of this kind, realizing the seriousness of the situation and the devotion of the people, Dr. Abiy Ahmed and the Gulf reactionaries will take their cues from their masters and betray the Atse, their ally and partner. Consequently, the Atse will be left to fight his own battle alone, which means even his closest cronies would betray him at the end of the day. We have seen this happening repeatedly around the globe, where brutal dictators ruled.

Eritrean justice seekers living in Diaspora are way down the road, asking critical questions and speaking out their concern in order to educate the public through all means, while trying to remove the obstacles thwarting their way to work together and coordinate with the patriotic forces inside the country. Protests and calls to the international community are continuing at a better pace. All these tasks are becoming much easier than any ever before with the widespread use of modern technology, the presence of better brains, and continued dedication. One thing is lagging behind: the emergence of a solid national umbrella. Still there are genuine efforts in this direction, but the challenges should not be insurmountable.

The political awareness inside the country is undoubtedly changing for the better, despite the tightening of the iron grip. Patriotic Berhane Abrehe’s message of courage, distinction, hope, optimism and truth, is having a positive impact, though the Atse had to revenge on him because he found his ego bruised and his survival threatened. Simultaneously, we hope our Defence Forces will carry the burden of saving the country on their shoulders, by being strong and fine patriots to finish the job started by the hero, Wedi Ali. At the same time, we hope those sticking around the dictator would pay attention to the fate that awaits them, no matter when, and play a positive role by siding with their people.

In few words, there are favourable conditions indicating that we are not sitting on our hands and waiting to hear what is next in Ethiopia’s NEO-EXPANSIONIST and Atse Isias’s NEO-ANDENET agenda. Nonetheless, we have to remember the ancient English proverb, “TIME AND TIDE WAIT FOR NO ONE.”================================================