Eritrea - Panic over UNSC-Sanctions & AU-Support

By Abdullah A. Ado abdullahadoa@gmail.com
Feb. 09 2010

Background:

On December 23, 2009, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) imposed arms embargo on tyrant Afewarki and his military junta for illegally supplying arms to Al-Shabab group, who are battling the internationally recognized transitional government of Somalia. In his usual finger pointing at others, Afewarki repeatedly kept on downplaying the sanctions as meaningless and even refuted as futile and as a CIA-conspiracy until last week.

Suddenly, nearly a month later, in the 1st week of February 2010, Afewarki’s calls for help from his Eritrean highland Tigrinya supporters in Diaspora emerged after an AU-summit voiced its unanimous support to the December 23, 2009 UNSC-imposed sanctions. The AU-summit further condemned Afewarki and his PFDJ-junta for their continuous unfolding of destabilizing roles in the East African region; and for persisting with destabilizing regional peace and security. Particularly, the AU-summit pointed out Afewarki’s continued provision of arms to Al Shabab group in Somalia; including weapons of all types and sizes, ammunition, money and other military equipment. Having based its final condemnation on the appeals made to the summit by Djibouti and Somalia governments the AU-Summit indicated that, despite the imposed sanctions, Afewarki still continues to send insurgents via Djibouti and Kismayu; and urged the international community to further establish stronger networking for enforcing the UNSC-sanctions including those of the travel ban and an asset freeze to Eritrean military and Afewarki’s officials; and block defiant Afewarki and his PFDJ-junta from their sinister destabilizing efforts.

Consequently, out of sheer panic, Afewarki came out from his hermit cocoon with the following appeal to the Eritrean Diaspora and even sent along a sample letter of petition to be signed and submitted to various agencies:

“Dear fellow Eritreans & Friends, Add your voice to the February 22, 2010 March in Geneva (Switzerland), San Francisco & Washington, DC (USA) as well as Melbourne (Australia). Tell members of the UN Security Council, the U.S. Government and the International Community you want an immediate annulment and Repeal of the Unjust, reckless and baseless sanctions imposed on Eritrea on December 23, 2009! If you want your name to be added to the list of supporters please fill the form attached below.

Dear Ambassador Rice:

My name is _______ from _____________. I am calling/writing/faxing to denounce the unjust sanctions resolution you pushed through the U.N. Security Council against Eritrea. At the same time I am also writing to urge you to reverse this unjust measure against the Eritrean people based on fabricated information. I am in support of the President’s policy of constructive engagement, reconciliation, and partnership with the rest of the world. Sadly, your UN team has orchestrated these sanctions on charges you know well to be groundless. Why did you push for sanctions instead of engagement? Why threats instead of reconciliation and why punishments instead of partnerships? Your team should work to help the President implement his clearly stated foreign policy program. Please try to exercise fairness and carefully evaluate all the facts and evidence to find a lasting peace in the Horn of Africa and you should avoid falling into the trap of those who pretend to wish well for Somalia but instead are trying to destroy it. They are trying to kill two birds with one stone, to destroy both Eritrea and Somalia. Act wisely; the lives of innocent people are at stake. You and I know that this will not bring peace to the war ravaged Horn of Africa; in fact this is a reckless act designed to reignite existing simmering conflicts and to create new ones. Thank you … Sincerely …” (Source: http://dehai.org/images/UN-letter)

Tyrant Afewarki’s recent panic and his previous weeks’ bluffing reactions in defiance to repeated requests by the international communities are all astonishing. Looking this episode from a closer context, let us resort to serious discussions. Throughout January 2010, immediately after the sanction

became known world wide, Afewarki, his PFDJ-junta and Eritrean highlander sympathizers alike were boasting of their contempt; claiming that the UNSC-embargo has no impact on Eritrea and they care less about it. They even were belittling the Western democracy as hypocritical and an unacceptable theme. These same people along with tyrant Afewarki have suddenly turned 180-degrees around and are pretentiously acting in the Western mode of democratic conferring as if to say they accept the Western style of democracy; and even dare to hold world-wide demonstration show-offs demanding to withdraw the UNSC-sanctions. Cynical enough, at this very time, Afewarki is keeping the salient and silent Eritrean rural majority population busy fortifying his play grounds for war by shoving themselves deep inside bankers and trenches for thousands of miles. The poor rural population are also closely watched by the Gestapo like PFDJ-spies so that they don’t run away or brew plots against Afewarki’s junta. So the silent majority are prisoners kept isolated from urban areas and from exchanging and expressing political views.

Although, Afewarki & his PFDJ-junta are doing everything possible to extend their stay in power by misleading the Eritrean public; at least it is good to see them ultimately forced to bow down and admit for once to the power of the silent and salient rural majority; and begging for Diaspora help to be rescued from the serious UNSC-sanctions. But let me ask the following to those Eritrean Tigrinya highlanders who blindly sympathize with Afewarki & his PFDJ-junta while living in a free and fair world in Diaspora. Why are you willing to give a blank-check approving whatever Afewarki & his PFDJ-junta would like to do against the silent majority of the Eritrean population? Had Afewarki & PFDJ-junta asked the internally imprisoned salient and silent Eritrean majority whenever Afewarki jump-starts his provocative terrorist wars left and right with our neighbors thus far? Has the rural poor in Eritrea in general and those of us living at the border and coastal areas within Eritrea been given any occasion to have a say on what affects our daily lives in terms of crafting policy reform or poverty reduction mechanisms? Have Afewarki and PFDJ-junta ever thought of involving the salient and silent Eritrean majority in discussions on burning community issues like why the whole Eritrean population is exhausted of tyranny and on continuous exodus in all directions and to all corners of the world? Have Afewarki & his PFDJ-junta ever contemplated to allow the silent majority to express their views by writing petition or by conducting pubic demonstration within Eritrea at all? Didn’t Afewarki & PFDJ-junta claim themselves as an ideological group opposed to Western style of democracy? So how come all of a sudden they want now to adopt Western democratic cultures in them and ask Diaspora supporters to quickly organize demonstrations and even write petitions in preparation for the February 22nd 2010 demonstration? And yet, why do Afewarki & his PFDJ-junta continue with their defiance by generating one terrorist incidence after the other within the region?

It has been long since the salient and silent Eritrean majority of the Afar, Beja, Bilen, Kunama, Saho, and other peasants and pastoralist groups within Eritrea have been frustrated, sad and sour on tyrant Afewarki and his PFDJ-junta; and his blind Eritrean Tigrinya highland supporters who continue sending hard currency for his terrorist actions. Thanks to the UNSC-powerful embargo exerted on Afewarki and his tyrannical junta and thanks for the reinforced decisions by the AU and USA, the Afar, Beja, Bilen, Kunama, Saho, and other peasants and pastoralist groups within Eritrea are actually delighted and warm-heartedly in support of this international sanction that will bring Tyrant Afewarki and his PFDJ-junta to its demise. Likewise we are glad to observe Afewarki and his PFDJ-junta knocking doors at this 11th our of their doom begging for help and crying out loud to get rid of the UNSC-sanctions; the same sanctions Afewarki was bluffing a month ago as toothless and ineffective let alone to threaten his “strong” Eritrean regime.

But let Afewarki and his PFDJ-junta know the necked fact that diplomacy is not a smear campaign. Diplomacy is not something that a tyrant appoints his representatives from among his own kin and closer connections through nepotism. On the contrary, career diplomacy needs networking with global nations and effectively achieves the necessary diplomatic efforts. In the case of Eritrea what we witness with Afewarki is his nepotistic style of hand-picking Eritrean highland Tigrinya kin and appointing the same members of a given family as ambassadors around the globe. Suffices to mention two highlander kin names here: Ambassador Tesfamicheal Gerahtu (of UK, London) and Ambassador Tesfalem Gerahtu (of Kampala, Uganda). Next page >>> two