By Firdu Yitayew
Surprisingly, both Afeworki and Zenawi still continue blowing their whistle of fictitious and self-proclaimed theories of Eritrea and Ethiopia thesis; and try to mobilize their respective public to join drum-beating for war yet to come. Nearly 2-decades after Afeworki and Zenawi have seized power, the Eritrean sovereignty question remains on shaky-grounds and at stake. Its internal and external problems reflect distinct political, economic and instable sovereignty crisis characters. More so, Afeworkis Eritrea remains isolated from the rest of the world due to his contemptuous and malicious internal and external actions since he came to power in 1993. My assertions to these crystal clear Eritrean crises are based on the following 11-points:
Contemptuously spearheaded by Meles Zenawi, TPLF/Woyane/ cohorts were sworn in to recognize Eritreas self determination already since TPLFs inception in the heart of Eritrea.
Principally TPLF worked hand and glove with the EPLF/Shaabia/ during the anti-Derg armed struggle ascertaining to Afeworki and EPLF army the fraternal belief TPLF holds as regards Eritreas self determination question.
In 1993 when the de facto Eritrean independence was declared, TPLF cohorts were the first to declare their recognition of the verdict of EPLF leading to its brokered power seizure in Eritrea.
During the 1998-2000 border conflict Meles Zenawi ordered the Ethiopian army to withdraw from land it occupied deep inside Eritrea; simply to live-up to the oath he and his cohorts made during the comradeship with EPLF.
Playing on the fear-factor of the Eritrean army, Meles Zenawi is telling the world that no provocation is coming from the Ethiopian side and that the TPLF-leadership will not be the first to shoot the bullet under any circumstances. What he does not say is that TPLF has the might to crash any such venture by Afeworkis army.
To this day there is no clear demarcation between Eritrea and Ethiopia putting the sovereignty issue of this young nation questionable and leaving it in critical breakout of war at any time in the near future. Heaven knows what may happen if and when one of these two despotic tyrants is toppled from power.
Issayas Afeworkis who once said: we dont rule out federation or co-federation in 1991-2 eventually started the 1998-2000 war on the excuse to regain the Bademe area which he called it meaningless or senseless later on.
Although every reasonable government and organization of the world is asking the two Ethio-Eritrean tyrants to enter into unequivocal dialogue, demarcate the boarder and provide Ethiopia and its 80 million population an outlet to the sea, out of empty pride and sheer contempt both Afeworki and Zenawi keep on refusing to arrive at feasible solutions; in fact both have given deaf ears to pleas and suggestions for negotiated settlement coming from the world community.
Particularly, Afeworki and his dictatorial regime keep on taking provocative stance including evicting the UN-peace keeping mission from the buffer zones.
Afeworkis and Zenawis contemptuous and despotic policies seem not to open the space for bringing peace and fair universal suffrage including opening the access to Assab Seaport; rather, both leaders exert their despotic power on both Eritrean and Ethiopian public. As a matter of fact, neither Eritrean nor Ethiopian will benefit out of the decisions made by these senseless war-mongering dictators; except Afeworkis and Zenawis diehard cohorts. War with Eritreas neighborhood is Afeworkis hidden agenda for suppressing internal uprisings; and crying foul while ready to invade is Zenawis outright military tactic.
Eritrean youths are fleeing the country by thousands simply to escape anticipated war and tired of lingering in the boring SAWA-military garrisons where there is unilateral life-style of fighting and carrying arms.
Diaspora Ethiopian and Eritrean communities as well as the international community at large remain keen witnesses to the fact that arrogant dictator Issaias Afeworki had, since the start, been rejecting the path of peace. Viewing the quest for peace through its warped vision of military exigency, Afeworki has demonstrated an appetite for the peaceful option when faced with military defeat, while rejecting that same option when it believed it had the upper hand. In the end, Afeworki ensured the failure of the Algiers peace talks with its customary intransigent positions; but to no avail of viable solutions.
That means the fate of Eritrea to date remains in limbo and in stiff stalemate. The Eritrean elite community that helped in the write-up of fictitious arguments about Eritreas colonial claims seems silent as the despotic Afeworki continued to rule his people hard-handed and given them a blow calling these elites as self-aggrandized capitalist running dogs.
2-Grave Diggers Dumped into Despotic Ditches
Whereas Afeworkis Shaabia regime in Eritrea prohibits ethnic-self determination up to secession doctrine within Eritrean bounds of nine (9) distinct ethnic sub-regions; Afeworki continues to advocate for national unity and integrated cohabitation policy within a united Eritrea run under one flag, one nation and one leader; and that leader is Issayas Afeworki. Likewise, Afeworki strictly works to bring into semblance the two common religions (Christian and Muslim) existing within Eritrea.
On the contrary to the Eritrean outlook, Afeworki and his tyrannical regime persistently preach and persuade ethnic-led manipulative political leadership within Ethiopia. Indeed, the Shaabia tailored motto for Eritrea reads: United we stand; divided we fall.
Decades back, the motto tailored by Afeworki and his Shaabia cohorts for likely consumption by liberation fronts coming from Ethiopia reads: Divided we stand firm; united we fall. Hence, Afeworkis manipulative and ethnic-led political whim establishes its national self-determination notion on the basis of what was fictitiously fabricated, exclusively tailored, spear-headed and spread with clandestine intents made between Afeworki and Zenawi to enhance the good-old Shaabias principal dream of keeping a divided and weakened Ethiopia at bay. But this same tactic is negatively affecting both regimes. Tirelessly Afeworki is urging and supporting opposition groups like OLF, AFD, EPPF, UIC, Al Qaeda, G-7; while Zenawi is supporting Eritrean opposition groups led by Eritrean Democratic Alliance (EDA) embracing 13 sisterly Eritrean political organizations.
To this day, I have never ever read, heard or witnessed the kind of crime and animosity done by any other leader against ones own citizen and nation as is happening with Afeworki and Zenawi. By virtue of their affinity and kin-tie, the former remains tyrannical forcing Eritrean people to dwell within labour and SAWA camps and pay by their sweats, tears and blood in the name of self-sufficiency; while the latter keeps Ethiopia as a land-locked nation where tribally divisive polity of Kilil keeps on killing consistently the nationhood and national spirits of Ethiopians by each day that goes by. Afeworki and Zenawi can fool some people some of the time; but they cannot fool all the Eritrean & Ethiopian people at all times. Consequently, they are paying the price for their malicious actions in the same manner as they incurred their tyrannical acts on their own nations and peoples.
TPLF continues to hold power in Ethiopia under gun-points and have no respect at all towards the nation and its people. When and if needed, it uses TPLFs specially trained invading forces that shoot and kill on the spot mercilessly; and takes everything it feels important for its advantages and mere existence. The entire TPLF cohorts are buying time simply by snatching Welqite-Tsegede, Tselmet, Alem Wouha Zuria, Woldiya, Kobbo, Alamata and other nearby places from Gonder and Wollo regions and keeping them within the newly devised bounds of Greater-Tigray. To any rational minded person this reflects TPLFs bad-ego and self-centred thinking. For as long as Ethiopians at home are left without quickly healing from this TPLFspread hate-cancer (which is founded on TPLFs Ethnic Apartheid policy known as Kilil), Ethiopia will regress backwards and continue to allow TPLF to play its deception, scam, hoax and swindle, smoke and mirrors by shading snake oil and strengthening tribal centers and fortifications; while at the same time pretentiously pushing tribal-power to the regional institutions for its own full power-control in all of the six regions designated within TPLFs amputated Ethiopia where parties and communities are instructed to play within the bounds of TPLFs ethnically divisive political cards only.
At the end of the day, the outcomes of these actions has left the two sisterly populations with 2-distinct geopolitical controversies that still remain as key sources of constant tensions; that may even trigger bloody conflicts and war. These unresolved 2-weak-points of EPLF and TPLF include, but not limited to, the following quarries: (a) the 1000km long border disputes between Ethiopia and Eritrea are not yet demarcated; will this be realized at all? (b) Ethiopias access to the sea has never been a point of discussion for Zenawis dictatorial regime. Would Assab port remain unresolved? Would Assab be inclusive during future settlement attempts? Or would it indefinitely remain as a source of tension between the two sisterly nations?
What do these conditions mean to Ethiopian and Eritrean stakeholders? It means that stakeholders must immediately face the good, the bad and the ugly challenges intertwined within these two key national socio-economic issues. It means that it is high time for them to pave the way in which feasible or plausible solutions are arrived at in a timely manner. Stakeholders representing the two sisterly nations must talk the talk and walk the walk in order to arrive at palatable and sustainable solutions that can revitalize the socio-economic conditions there of.
But evident enough, Afeworki continues spreading his ethnic-venomous political propagation focused on sheer hate and revenges all around the region surrounding Eritrea. Contemptuously, Issayas Afeworkis despotic regime continues to dig its own final grave as his own malicious deeds and creations are pushing him more and more towards his down fall from power. For instance, faced with tough times, the political and economic plights in Eritrea continue to cause untold exodus and dispersion of young Eritrean people due to Afeworkis one-man tyrannical and oppressive regime. Although totally alienated from the rest of the world and from the African Union, Afeworki continues to commit flagrant violations of human rights by turning Eritrea into a country where democracy and justice are absent; where its population yearnings for independence and freedom are ultimately trapped in intimidation, indecency and serfdom. The time is becoming ripe enough for consistent challenges coming not only from its neighbouring countries but mainly from Eritrean opposition groups operating in Diaspora. One such group is the Eritrean Democratic Alliance (EDA) embracing 13 sisterly Eritrean political organizations. In its 9-year on operation, the EDA has laid out its strategy, on how to dismantle and up-root Afeworkis persistently repressive rule and tribulations eventually.
As far as Ethiopias socio-economic interest is concerned, no matter what comes may the issue of Assab Port must be resolved instantly with regard to Ethiopias rightful access to the sea. Otherwise, this may eventually become one of the serious points for popular opposition against the TPLF-led dictatorial regime. Possible rationales for the access to the Assab seaport concern the following 4-points: (1) Ethiopia needs an outlet to the sea in order to maintain its socio-economic interests and geopolitical security; (2) for quite a long while, prior to 1935 and between 1952 and 1990 Assab Port used to be part of during which time this Port was prearranged by TPLF to be given as a good-will gesture to Eritrea without asking the consent of 80 million Ethiopian population; (3) the 1993 Eritrean referendum was conducted on emergency grounds; without formally carrying-out the border demarcation prior to the 1993 de facto Eritrean independence inauguration date; (4) keeping Ethiopia landlocked will prolong the suffering of both the Eritrean and Ethiopia peoples since it will remain the source of constant tension and fear factor for any future skirmishes between the two nations.
Putting contempt and empty pride aside, Eritrea becomes a stable nation when and only when it forges the proper geopolitical ingredients for enhancing mutual coexistence with Ethiopia. Peace, stability and economical prosperity will shrine in Eritrea only when Assab Port is left as Ethiopias legitimate corridor to the sea.