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Thursday, June 20, 2024
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The More Eritrea is Challenged the More it gets Stronger.

We Eritreans have faced very challenging times throughout our history. At a time when the world categorized the Eritrean struggle for independence as a dormant conflict with no chance of success, the Eritrean gallant liberation fighters made a miracle and bestowed us with full-fledged Independence. When the Western world created a pretext to put multiple sanctions on Eritrea we persisted and managed not only to survive but also thrive. When Eritrean enemies accused Eritrean leaders of crimes against humanity, we flocked to Geneva and challenged them. When they formed the “Sena forum” to encircle Eritrea and chock its people, Eritrea mounted a strong challenge and dismantled their conspiracy. When the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) led Ethiopian government refused to accept and implement the Ethiopia and Eritrea boundary commission final and binding decision and vacate its forces from Eritrean territories, we took our time and pushed it out for good.  When TPLF surrogates tried to disrupt our gatherings and celebrations in the diaspora, we put up a fierce challenge and now they are on the run. Therefore, as we celebrate the 33rd independence of Eritrea, it is essential to reflect on the challenges Eritrea and Eritreans faced and how we overcame them, defended ourselves, and emerged as winners.

History

Looking back on history, it is hard to believe that the dark era that started with Haileslasse’s annulation of the federal arrangement between Eritrea and Ethiopia, on November 14, 1962, and followed by armed struggle for independence and subsequent border war, lasted for 50 years. During the 50 long years, lives were lost, people were uprooted from their villages, and infrastructure was destroyed. At the center of such conflict was the Ethiopian ruler’s persistent effort to keep Eritrea under Ethiopia at any cost. Unfortunately, although on a smaller scale, such an ill-advised policy that destroyed the two countries remains a threat to the peaceful co-existence, and development of the two countries. Some misguided Ethiopian elites and TPLF losers, who found it hard to swallow their pride and accept that Eritrea is an independent country, still consider peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia as a strategy to accomplish their old dream to bring Eritrea back to Ethiopia. On the opposite side, Eritreans think peace with Ethiopia is an opportunity to safeguard their hard-earned sovereignty and live with their Ethiopian brothers and sisters in peace. Accordingly, the first point of the Jeddah peace agreement is “respecting each other’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity”. Not adhering to such an important cornerstone of the peace agreement poses a threat to the overall peace agreement and future relations of the two countries. Therefore, unless Ethiopian elites and TPLF losers come to terms that Eritrea is a United Nations-recognized independent country, and that enjoys internationally recognized borders, peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia will remain elusive. Any effort to disrupt peace in Eritrea will face a strong response as before and will result in further deterioration of relationships between the two countries.

Media

Nowadays with the prefiltration of the mass media, energized by the advent of the internet, anyone from any corner of the world can disseminate information to millions of people in the blink of an eye. Although such development in digital technology can be considered a very positive phenomenon, it has its serious dangers. Non-government entities and actors that control the mass media and harbor hidden agendas can control the minds of unsuspecting followers and use them to achieve their hidden objectives. The situation is even more complicated because special interest groups are buying YouTubers and other media personalities to further their agenda. Many YouTubers in Africa receive funds from the US-based “National Endowment for Democracy (NED)” and other special interest groups. These funds often come with strings attached. In exchange for money, the YouTubers are guided to attack countries that refuse to kneel to the Western interest. This is what Eritrea faced in the last fifty years. Small and big hired media personalities disseminated false information against Eritrea. One very typical example is the news pushed by special interest groups year after year about the presence of Israeli listening bases in Embasoira, in Southern Eritrea, and in the Dahlak Islands, in the Red Sea. Although everyone knows there is no such thing in Eritrea, the news gets recycled almost every year and Eritrea had to respond to it. Why do they do that? Well, it fits to the overall strategy of isolating Eritrea from the Arab World. This example is one of the many disinformation campaigns waged against Eritrea. The good thing is Eritrea fights back and, it may take time, but the truth prevails over lies. This is a good lesson to Ethiopian Government-hired media personalities that are disseminating false information against Eritrea and specifically targeting Eritreans in Ethiopia. Ethiopian leaders have the habit of targeting Eritrean civilians to further their futile agenda to weaken Eritrea. The TPLF-led government expelled 80,000 Eritreans and confiscated their hard-earned property. Now the Abiy Government-sponsored terrorist groups are threatening Eritreans who reside in Ethiopia. The author of this article would like to advise the Abiy government that such ill-advised activities show weakness rather than strength and they do not make any sense at all. They only prolong the healing of the wounds the successive Ethiopian leaders inflicted on Eritrea and Eritreans.

Economy

All previous Ethiopian rulers, with no exception, saw the economy as a major tool to weaken Eritrea and subsequently achieve their dream of bringing Eritrea back to Ethiopia. If some people thought the last 20 years of no war no peace policy imposed on Eritrea was only related to the border, they were wrong. It was a long-term strategy to buy TPLF time to grow Tigrai at the expense of Ethiopia and ultimately develop an economic and military capacity to control Eritrea. In their assumption, in the long term, when Eritreans face economic hardship, it would be natural for them to see the south for jobs and other economic opportunities. That opens the opportunity for TPLF to win the hearts and minds of Eritreans and ultimately bring Eritrea and Tigrai together as one independent country. Thus, history tells us that for their reasons, Ethiopian elites and TPLF losers used the economy as a tool to weaken Eritrea. The sad part of the story is that even though it is on a smaller scale and losing steam, such hidden interest still exists in Ethiopia. After being saved from demise by the TPLF the Abiy government decided to continue the strategy of weakening Eritrea economically. Instead of asking to use Eritrean ports in line with international norms, he decided to go for ownership of the port and corridor to the sea. The prime minister knows this would not happen in Eritrea. He simply brought it to deny Eritrea of port service income from Ethiopia. The gist of the idea is if Eritrea gets port income it would be economically stronger than Ethiopia. Thus, to economically weaken Eritrea it should not get port income. This kind of Zero-Sum game was pursued by the TPLF during the 1998-2000 Eritrea-Ethiopia war and is still in the mind of the Abiy government.

Politics

Sadly, in the minds of Ethiopian elites and TPLF losers, Ethiopia needs to get everything with nothing giving in return to Eritrea. Such kind of thinking is a reminder and continuation of the bankrupted Haileslassie, Derg, and TPLF loser’s policy agenda against Eritrea. After the peace agreement between Eritrea and Ethiopia was signed, Eritrea contributed to the peace in Ethiopia significantly. Eritrea gave up thousands of opposition groups that it nurtured over the last twenty years, it dropped its precondition of Ethiopian withdrawal from Sovereign Eritrean territory and agreed to open its borders for trade. As part of the peace agreement, Ethiopian Airlines is flying to Eritrea more than a dozen times a week. It is using Eritrea’s Airspace for its flights to the Unted States, Europe, and Middle Eastern countries, that helped it to save millions of dollars in fuel costs. Ethiopian ships are doing business in Eritrean ports. Above all the Ethiopian government enjoyed the full military and diplomatic support of the Government of Eritrea during the TPLF-initiated Civil war.  What did Eritrea get from Ethiopia in return? One may mention the lifting of the sanction, which should never have happened in the first place. Therefore, Eritreans need to think beyond the deaf diplomacy of our government and be proactive in our response to the unfairness and injustices that come from Ethiopian elites and TPLF losers. The Eritrean government policy is short-term sacrifices for long-term benefits. The problem with such thinking is, in politics, nothing is taken for granted. Things can change in the blink of an eye, and it doesn’t take much time for your goodwill and sacrifices to be taken as signs of weakness. Prior Eritrean government’s investments in diplomatic relations with the TPLF losers and the President of Sudan brought nothing but unimaginable loss. It is time for the Eritrean government to rethink its relations with Ethiopia and let every Eritrean know about it sooner than later. Durable long-term benefits need to be built on incremental short-term benefits, and it takes two to tango.

Conclusion,

Eritreans have suffered enough under successive Ethiopian rulers. The peace agreement between Eritrea and Ethiopia had been long overdue but was hijacked for two decades by TPLF’s greedy and corrupt tugs for their ulterior motives. Due to mistaken and misguided policies adopted by successive Ethiopian rulers, the two brotherly and sisterly people of Eritrea and Ethiopia lost a lot for over five decades. However, for the peace agreement to be sustainable Ethiopians need to live up to the terms and sprits of the Jidda agreement that clearly states “respecting each other’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity” as a corner stone for sustainable peace. Any ill thinking and hidden agenda that uses Eritrea as a playing card in reginal and international politics will be fought hard by Eritrean and Eritreans.

Victory to the Masses and eternal glory to our Martyrs.

By Abel Kebedom,

Disclaimer

The views and opinions titled "The More Eritrea is Challenged the More it gets Stronger.", are those of Abel Kebedom and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Setit Media. ኣብዚ "The More Eritrea is Challenged the More it gets Stronger.", ዘርእስቱ ጽሑፍ ተገሊጹ ዘሎ ርእይቶን ሓሳብን ናይ Abel Kebedom እምበር መትከላትን መርገጽን ሰቲት ሚዲያ ዘንጸባርቕ ኣይኮነን።

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