(A reply to the self-defeatist camp of Neamin Zeleqe)
By Tsegaye Kassa
OF PERMANENT ENEMIES & INTERESTS
Some Opposition groups seem to believe in the statement that there are no permanent enemies but permanent interests. The USA follows the policy that it co-operates with enemies if it is in the interest of its national security. For the USA, there are permanent interests but no permanent enemies. Permanent interests cannot be safeguarded if there are enemies that are against the strategic interest of a nation. The USA would not co-operate with any country if it stands against its national interests. Any nation that stands against the sovereignty of any other nation is the enemy of that nation. Eritrea is arming secessionist groups who are against Ethiopia. Eritrea aims in fact to dismember Ethiopia. Thus the Eritrean leadership is an enemy as long as it stands against the strategic interest of Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian Opposition should face the bitter reality and find a solution rather engage itself in sweet daydreams. It is naïve and unforgivable to allow the very enemy engage itself to further cause damage to the Ethiopian Nation. Ethiopian patriots should distance themselves from Eritrean secessionist forces. They are becoming part of the problem and not the solution. This does not mean that the Opposition should not stand against Meles Zenawi and his clique. The writer wants to stress again and again that both TPLF of Tigrai and EPLF of Eritrea are enemies of Ethiopia and have to be dealt with equal vigour and intensity. In case of some countries, it seems that Ethiopia has permanent enemies. Ethiopia has to defeat these enemies by organizing its population defend the patria (the fatherland). The Opposition should wage a relentless struggle to maintain the pre-1991 political boundary. The Eritrean people are Ethiopians and have to be integrated in our community as Ethiopians.Opposing the Tigrean and Eritrean leadership is in no way standing against the people of Eritrea and Tigrai.
As in the past, the opposition seems to fall prey to catechisms and slogans that stand against the opposition itself and against the Ethiopian people. There are permanent enemies and permanent interests depending on the situation. There might be also permanent interests only. The evidence-based behaviour of this group and that group will, decide whether the Opposition is to wield either strategic or tactical alliances. As to working with Eritrea, the evidence is against it. It is counterproductive because Eritrea is an instrument of expansion and control for Egypt and other traditional enemies of Ethiopia. Unfortunately Europe seems bent on anti-Ethiopia crusade too and we could safely say that Europe and USA will use Eritrea against Ethiopia. In all cases, Eritrea at this juncture in history is anti-Ethiopia and collaborating with Eritrea means helping traditional enemies of Ethiopia attain their goal of dismemberment and fragmentation of Ethiopia. The opposition should rather agitate the Eritrean people to overthrow the Issayas regime. By collaborating with Issayas Afewarki, the Ethiopian Opposition is weakening the democratic struggle of the people of Eritrea.
THE DEFEATIST CAMP OF ZEAMIN ZELEKES IS SPINELESS
Though this is a reply to the absurd scribble of Neamin Zeleqe under the title The Imperative for Ethiopians Dealing with Eritrea, there is in many websites and other media a serious betrayal and indirect attack on Ethiopia as a nation. This is really a very shameful defeatist tendency which we have to up-root and control. One case in point is the Amharic Daily Ethiopia Zare. This Amharic Daily has been disseminating self-defeatist articles that try to project Eritrea as an ally of the democratic movement in Ethiopia. A recent article that Issayas Afewarki stands for unity of Ethiopia was disturbing to read in the newspaper. The Ethiopian opposition should stand for the unity of Ethiopia and should be able to discern the hypocrisy of Eritreans. The Ethiopian Opposition should never collaborate with Eritrea for this legitimizes Eritrea as a separate and legal entity. Recognizing Eritrea as a country and collaborating with it, is tantamount to legitimizing the illegal rule of Meles Zenawi. Our point of departure should be the pre-1991 status quo and we should oppose to Eritreas secession from her Motherland Ethiopia and to Woyanes (TPLF) rule in Ethiopia. We should fight against both Meles Zenawi and Issayas Afewarki, for these two persons are directly responsible for the current unbearable situation of our people. We have to look for other countries and organizations for logistic and material support for our struggle to create a united and democratic Ethiopia.
ETHIOPIAN WEBSITES BECOMING A MEDIA FOR ERITREAS ANTI-ETHIOPIA PROPAGANDA
Ethiopian websites and newspapers who promote the propaganda of Eritrean secessionist forces should be boycotted and be seen as our national enemies that will have to be brought to justice when the opportunity comes. Almost all Ethiopian websites published Neamin Zeleqes absurd scribble. This in future should not be allowed. Are we asking Shaebya (Eritrean secessionist movement) to come and liberate us from Woyane (TPLF)? This is really ridiculous. How can the Ethiopian opposition forces ally to dismantle Ethiopia? There is either too much passivity in the democratic movement or the political awareness is so low that Ethiopians are so apolitical that they do not know who their enemies and allies are. Websites like Ethiopian Review called by Ethiopians sarcastically Eritrean Review have played a negative role in misleading and diverting the Ethiopian people from focusing on the real political issues. The Ethiopian Review presented fascist Issayas Afwarki as man of the year. Such disinformation has some impact on the Opposition movement to Meles Zenawi and some Opposition groups went to seek assistance from Eritrea. Besides such destructive propaganda is humiliating to the many families that have lost their loved due to the misrule of Issayas Afewarki. In general, such propaganda would promote crime and fascism in our region. People like Issayas Afewarki should be condemned and brought to justice. The website Ethiopian Review should be accountable for the death and suffering of the Eritrean and Ethiopian people because of the criminal and fascistic acts of Issayas Afewarki, who was presented as the Man of the Year by the Ethiopian Review website.
For the last 18 years, we seem not to understand how our country is being driven to more chaos and social deprivation. That the Eritreans are playing a negative role in the destruction of Ethiopia should be unequivocally clear. We have to observe how Eritreans are abusing Ethiopian communities in foreign countries and at home. This is partly due to the lack of awareness and the readiness of the Ethiopian communities to defend and fight for Ethiopian values. To do this we should stop Eritreans from using and abusing our communities. Our churches should be for Ethiopians only. The Eritreans have been coming to Ethiopian community services with a plan to infiltrate and control the communities. However Ethiopians have defended their communities and many are functioning properly. That Eritreans publish in Ethiopian newspapers to legitimize the status quo in Ethiopia and Eritrea is not new. This has been the case in the early days of the Ethiopian Student Movement. For Eritreans, it is natural to use and abuse Ethiopian resources to legitimize the secession of Eritrea and to wage the struggle to dismember Ethiopia. Neamin Zeleqe could be an Eritrean. He could also be an Ethiopian, who is very much frustrated by the current situation in Ethiopia. In all cases, it is entirely wrong to disseminate the idea of collaborating with Eritrea. We have rather to distance ourselves from Eritrean secessionist groups. We cannot be armed and trained by Eritrea to unite and democratize Ethiopia. We have to hold together as Ethiopians and stop Eritreans from infiltrating in our organizations. We have to use our resources for the cause of Ethiopia only and any anti-Ethiopia article should not be allowed to circulate. Eritrea cannot be our ally to erect a democratic Ethiopia. Ethiopia should rely on her own population and seek assistance from countries that do not stand against our strategic interest.
DEFEND THE HISTORY OF ETHIOPIA AND OPPOSE THE FALSIFICATION CAMPAIGN OF ERITREA AND TIGRAI
On the awareness of our community on the history of Eritrea and Ethiopia, there seems to be much to be done. We should bear in mind that we are not being rude to Eritreans if we defend the true history of Eritrea and Ethiopia. Defending the history of Ethiopia is important for the democratic movement to strengthen itself. No country in the world rejects its own history or restrains from defending its history. The Eritreans are destroying the history of Ethiopia in many different ways. They reject the heroic struggle of the people of Ethiopia against Italy. The Eritreans disseminate the fallacious idea that Ethiopia was liberated by the British duringWorld War II. The patriotic resistance of the Ethiopian people against fascist Mussolini and the birth of the many selfless heroes and heroines are ignored. Without Belay Zeleqe, Abune Petros, Zeray Deres, Dejazematch Gebremariam, Dejazmatch Balcha and many other heroes Ethiopia would not have been liberated. CIA fact sheet about Ethiopia and Eritrea shows how the Eritreans have falsified Ethiopian history. If Eritreans stand for the unity and liberation of Ethiopia, they should not falsify Ethiopian history.
No country in the world has falsified Ethiopian history. All European, American and other historians have documented the history of Ethiopia and that the Eritreans are trying to falsify this well-documented history of Ethiopia is really beyond comprehension. Ethiopians should condemn such acts of the Eritreans. We have to defend the history of Ethiopia for generations to come and for the present generation. Eritreans have given us Ethiopians a hundred years home work, to use the expression of fascist Issayas Afewarki. Issayas Afewarki has been trying to pit Ethiopian ethnics against each other. Eritreans hate and look down upon Oromos and other southern tribes of Ethiopia. The Oromos are seen as animals by Eritreans. But the fascist junta under the leadership of Issayas Afewarki has been training and arming Ormos with the aim of seceding Oromo region from Ethiopia. The Oromos are being insulted by Eritreans as dogs as we were to notice from some of the discussion forums. Oromos and all ethnies of Ethiopia have been living together for millennia. Practically there is no ethnic discrimination as we see it in many African countries but the whole country Ethiopia has no democratic rule and all tribes suffer directly and indirectly under the suppressive regime of Meles Zenawi.
The idea that some groups in the Opposition find Eritrea as an ally should be rejected and condemned. The Ethiopian opposition to the rule of Meles Zenawi should not allow itself to collaborate with Issayas Afwarki of Eritrea. At this juncture in our history, we have to be very careful not to go to bed with our fatal enemies. It is suicidal and very humiliating to ally and collaborate with Eritrea to dismember Ethiopia. Eritrea is a sworn enemy of a democratic and united Ethiopia. The self-defeatists like Neamin Zeleqe are enemies of the Ethiopian people and should be ignored. We have to look for our strategic allies elsewhere. Eritrea cannot be our ally in our struggle to create a democratic Ethiopia. Eritreans gave us Ethiopians a hundred years home work not to unite Ethiopia but to dismember it and to pit one ethnic group against another like it was the case in Rwanda between Hutus and Tutsis.
The Opposition should struggle against Issayas Afewarki and Meles Zenawi. Both Meles Zenawi and Issayas Afewarki must be brought to justice. It does not make sense to ally with Issayas to overthrow Meles Zenawis regime. We have to work to replace Meles and Issayas with another accountable government. Melez Zenawi and his henchmen are dictatorial and are anti-Ethiopia. We could have tolerated if the current government in Addis Abeba was only dictatorial. But it is intolerable to have an anti-Ethiopia government. As is noted earlier, the anti-Ethiopia policy of Meles Zenawi is due he and his henchmen being Eritreans and have a hidden agenda to dismantle Ethiopia. The Opposition might be forced to use all means available to erect a pro-Ethiopia regime by co-operating wit Eritrea. However the fact that Eritrea is anti-Ethiopia compels the opposition forces to look for other alternatives of boosting the democratic struggle for a united Ethiopia. The Opposition should stand against the regimes in Addis Abeba and Asmara.
Any struggle has to have a vision and a cause it can die for. The Ethiopian people are struggling to defend Ethiopia. They are ready to die for Ethiopia. It is sadistic and a gross mockery of history if the opposition was to kneel down to a group of traitors and anti-Ethiopia crusaders in the regions called Eritrea and Tigrai. It is equally wrong and betrayal of the Ethiopian Nation to collaborate with Meles Zenawi and his henchmen. The Opposition should have the grain necessary to liberate and control Ethiopia. The issue of Ethiopia is the issue of the world. The world needs Ethiopia and any country will be ready to stand with the Ethiopian people in their struggle to safeguard the sovereignity and territorial integrity of Ethiopia. It might be that the Black Diaspora and Black African countries (Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda etc) will have to liberate and unite Ethiopia for Ethiopia is their symbol, their nation, their heritage, their liberty, their creation. The Opposition should weed out any defeatism in its ranks and should be able to see its role as very decisive for the unity and liberation of Ethiopia and Eritrea from the dictatorship of Meles Zenawi and Issayas Afewarki, who are contemporary lackeys of neo-colonialism. We have to draw a lesson from the experience of the Vietnamese people and see ourselves challenging and changing the decadent international community. We have a golden opportunity to renew Ethiopias mighty and greatness by uniting our forces. It is beautiful and an honour again to have a cause to stand for. The Vietnamese people paid an enormous sacrifice to liberate and unite their country. The freedom fighters under the leadership of Ho Chmin liberated North Vietnam and were fighting to liberate South Vietnam. They paid the necessary price for the liberation of South Vietnam and united it with North Vietnam. USA and Western Europe negotiated with the North Vietnamese for a peace deal which maintained South Vietnam as an independent country. The Vietnamese people rejected the offer that compromised the sovereignity and territorial integrity of the Vietnamese Nation. The North Vietnamese people paid more sacrifices and liberated South Vietnam from US control and united it with North Vietnam. Vietnam maintained its national unity and is now one of the worlds fast growing economies. The Vietnamese people had a very nationalist and patriotic leader. Had the North Vietnamese leaked the boots of USA and other countries, Vietnam would have been not united. In case of Ethiopia. The Opposition should commit itself to the unity and liberation of Ethiopia. The Opposition should be ready to die for Ethiopian Unity. The Opposition should never collaborate with forces that stand against the territorial integrity and unity of pour nation. The Ethiopian Opposition should fight the Eritrean secessionist forces and collaborate with them. It is only such a force that will aid the birth of a New Democratic Ethiopia. A self-defeatist group would only prolong the status quo of oppression and ethnic strife as is practised by the regime of Meles Zenawi and Issayas Afewarki.
There is much evidence that the regime in Asmara is a sworn enemy of Ethiopia. If we have to assess the situation evidence-based, then we have to be honest and fair for ourselves and Ethiopia. Issayas Afewarki is palying with ethnic hatred against the Tigray people. This is appealing to some of us who happen to be from the other ethnic groups. Some of us have fallen to the ethnic trap Issayas Afewarki and his advisors have put for Ethiopia. If Issayas Afewarki stood in the best interest of Ethiopia, he would not and should be against Tigrai province. The opposition should stop being a victim of Eritrea. It should be able to recognise the problem and try to stand against Issayas Afewarki and Meles Zenawi. The Opposition should and could exploit the contradiction in the enemy camp (TPLF, EPLF, OLF0 to safeguard the unity of Ethiopia. But the current alignment of forces in the opposition and Eritrea is in favour of Eritrea and any collaboration with Eritrea at this stage will only serve the anti-Ethiopia crusaders. This writer is optimistic that the Ethiopian people will stand against the anti-Ethiopia camp and will be victorious. It is only Ethiopia and her history which could keep Ethiopians united and democratic. The people of Ethiopia need to go through the bitter experience of betrayal. But in the end the Ethiopian people will be united and will promote a democratic unitary or federal state. It would have very easy and simple if nations could be dismembered by fooling them. The experience under the ethnic federalism and tribalism of TPLF-EPRDF is a mind opener and our people will have to stand against any force that stands against the Ethiopian Nation for this is natural that citizens of a nation defend their nation against forces that try to dismember it. The Ethiopian Opposition should clean its own camp from collaborators and defeatists in order to accelerate the struggle for democracy and unity in Ethiopia. Both TPLF and EPLF are enemies of the people of Ethiopia. After 18 years in power, we should believe what we see. Collaboration with Eritrea will affect the struggle of he Ethiopian Opposition in a negative way (to be continued).