Eritrea - Panic over UNSC-Sanctions & AU-Support

By Abdullah A. Ado
Feb. 09 2010

At the cost of becoming a laughing stock, Afewarki, his PFDJ-junta and his blind Eritrean highland Tigrinya supporters in Diaspora were all bluffing until recently, as if they aren’t scared by the U.S. policy against Eritrea; and even dared to teach Democracy 101 to the Western world especially to the State Department of the USA. But this time, there is no way of deceiving the Eritrean people. Why do Afewarki & his PFDJ-junta oppose the Western world so vehemently in most of your Medias and websites; and yet beg Diaspora sympathisers to go out for public demonstrations and beg for Western World’s support to reveres the UNSC-resolution on Eritrea? One cannot have the cake and eat it too. Likewise, Afewarki and his PFDJ-junta cannot roar and roam around within rural Eritrea like a lion; and suddenly act like a sad loyal dog to the outer world (coiling its tails between its two rear legs) when they knew the UNSC-sanctions are here for serious business.

Needless to say, those who do not respect the rights, origin, belief and culture of others, will never genuinely defend theirs. That being the case, I’m not sure if the hitherto upheld denial and fabricated nationalism that persists in the highland Eritrean mentality will ever hold water and remain sustainable as the signs of splinter movements including RSADO are now underway among non-Tigrinya speaking communities of Eritrea. Indeed, after 30-years of armed struggle and 20-years of de facto Eritrean independence, Tigrinya highlanders are caught-up in a state of denial and in a myth of fiefdom forming that never has been; and that will not materialize. And the whole Shaabia liberation struggle and experiences gained there of point to Afewarki and Shaabia who brew disillusion from the very start of the liberation struggle: (a) Both the urban and the Diaspora highlanders still are caught up with deep denial and utter confusion of what they see and hear.

Particularly, the much boasted talk about victory are nothing but echoing quite unreasonable victory dances and dropping crocodile tears for killings and for causing material losses through banditry skirmishes carried out left and right thus far. These protracted fights have, in fact, depleted the Eritrean rural population growth rate in particular and it’s economic progress by significant percentage and hampered the lowland society from potential recovery and progress. The main reasons being the militaristic operations and banditry life styles that were on the ground since the early 1960s; and still the periodical skirmishes are immensely causing huge human, logistic, economic, and environmental losses. Indeed, to this very day, the war tension and abrupt events causing the usual interruptions from normalizing livelihoods are still on the move firmly armed and alert for any likely ignition of further skirmishes without borders. As such, Tyrant Afewarki’s and his military junta are known for their immense brutality and Mafia-like handling of civil affairs. Without any ado, Afewarki and PFDJ-junta are pulling Eritrea down the drain while day dreaming and living in fantasies of their own making; and prefer to remain at standby where projection of “colonial legacy” has given them the excuse to impose a totalitarian political pathway that leads solely to their terrorist Sawa military garrisons; to which the salient and silent majority of the Eritrean poor are saying: Enough is enough!

Eritrea’s Survival at Cross-Road:
Critical questions that come to mind include the following: (1) Can Eritrea survive as a nation amidst its speedy move towards its total stagnation? (2) How can Afewarki or his substitute regime stop the ongoing PFDJ-regime’s endless forced labor, which has driven and continues to drive thousands of Eritrean youth out of the country? [*See Gaim Kibreab, Forced Labor in Eritrea, Journal of Modern African Studies, 47, 1(2009)]. (3) How can Afewarki or his substitute reform Eritrea’s deeply troubled economy in shambles and on the verge of collapse? There is no shame in siding with the truth. But those who have been burned by Issayas Afewarki and his PFDJ-junta, and yet identify with Afewarki’s tyrannical policy are always in a dilemma, not knowing the way out of the trouble. But the naked question facing Eritrean peoples of all walks of life is: For how surely can the PFDJ sustain Eritrea solely depending on Sawa training camp and its companion project, the so called Warsai-Yikaalo Campaign, and consider them as the sole guarantors of Eritrea’s security as Afewarki’s fiefdom? I have my serious doubts as things are on shaky grounds and soon falling apart haphazardly.

Conclusive Remarks:

In summing up let me still ask the following: Is “independence” worth all the sacrifices that the Eritrean rural poor have been dearly paying in limbs and lives thus far? Is “independence” as an all-consuming-50-year-long odyssey and as the only bloody path thus far worth enduring? I can only suggest three fear-factors as likely scenarios. Firs of all, the rural Eritrean population has been living and continues to live behind trenches all along the non-demarcated long-border-lines; this being the case; it is still too early for the rural poor to claim having benefited from Eritrean “independence”. Secondly, since Eritrea has unequivocal state of collective serfdom; a fiefdom where military garrisons and guerrilla warfare camps dominate the rural scene; and where the nearly 4-million rural Eritrean peoples are held incarcerated in military garrisons. That means Eritrean populations are no where near to fully claim that they are free people in the true sense of the word! The burning heat of oppression from Afewarki and his PFDJ junta circle is felt everywhere. Failure to resolve the Eritrean rural populations’ discontent and disputes could exacerbate governance, health, and humanitarian problems further. Yearning for lasting solution remains in the distant future. After all, the Eritrean revolution was waged haphazardly, by folks with divergent aspirations and banditry culture in mind. And I may not be astonished if some of the pastoralist and peasant communities renounce their citizenship in silence.

Tyrant Afewarki and his PFDJ-junta are commonly fighting for what they cynically term as “territorial integrity” within Eritrea proper; while at the same time preaching self-determination up to secession of nationalities elsewhere within the neighboring nations. But let Afewarki and his PFDJ junta know the fact that: ‘a person living in a house made of glass does not throw stones on others’ glass windows’. Hence it is justifiable that the UNSC-sanction enforce to stop Afewarki from his proxy-war tactics. Ultimately, Diaspora Eritrean youth must know the following: ‘Don’t look where you fall, but where you slipped’. Dwindle the empty pride; face the naked reality; break out differences; and build bridges with the rural masses. These are the likely alternatives that can reduce Eritrea’s militaristic stand, halt the Eritrean youth mass-exodus and help Eritrea move towards its eventual maturity.

A message to Canada's Nevsun Resources Ltd other investors
Afewarki knows well that he and his junta cannot survive without the resources from Afar, Beja, Bilen, Kunama, Saho, and other peasants and pastoralist groups within Eritrea Indeed it is geologically a known fact that key mineral deposits are located along the coastal areas of the Red Sea and in Kunama land areas in Western Eritrea. Among these spots recently mine projects are in exploration within Bisha located in Kunama land areas in Western Eritrea run by Canada's Nevsun Resources Ltd, mainly with strategic focus put on gold production. If all goes silently well, the company expects to start gold production by the end of 2010 or by the beginning of next year. Similarly at Zara, a gold project is being run by Australia's Chalice Gold Mines who are expecting to start producing gold by the end of 2011. Similar projects in search of vast oil and other mineral deposits have been lined up all along the Red Sea coral and coastal areas where rich mineral deposits including Quartz, feldspars, rock fragments, mica, heavy minerals, clay minerals, sulfide minerals, aragonite, Mg-calcite, proto-dolomite, dolomite, quartz, and chalcedony are known to be available. To this effect, tyrant Afewarki is already promising investors claiming he will relax his commercial and business laws. We say to the these companies and to others aspiring to join the exploration mission to withdraw their actions instantly in support of the UNSC-sanctions and in order to help the Afar, Beja, Bilen, Kunama, Saho, and other peasants and pastoralist groups within Eritrea to free themselves from Afewarki’s tyrannical rule.

A message to Tyrant Afewarki and PFDJ-supporters:
If Diaspora supporters continue to act against internationally decided and well-deserved UNSC and AU consensus, and go out to rally on February 22, 2010 as instructed by the tyrant, then you are in fact demonstrating guilty of treason for opting to rescue tyrant Afewarki (a known terrorist at home and exporter of terrorism to Al-Shabab as identified by the UNSC and AU thus far). Likewise, you are in agreement with tyrant Afewarki and his accomplices for keeping the silent and salient rural poor in Eritrea under his terrorist subjugation. By proxy, it means, you too are guilty by association for aiding him and his PFDJ-junta to remain in power and continue their subjugation without borders. As a result, you too must be charged for collaborating with tyrant Afewarki and his PFDJ-junta who give deaf ear to international condemnations and continue with their crime actions indefinitely. We are definitely sure, most Diaspora demonstrators, if at all there will be any, are no other than our Eritrean Tigrinya highlanders, who want to assure their supremacy on power, as ever before, regardless of observable and accounted injustices by the international community thus far. Let the global public know, we, who side with the oppressed silent majority of the Afar, Beja, Bilen, Kunama, Saho, and other peasant and pastoralist groups within Eritrea, strongly support the UNSC-sanctions against tyrant Afewarki and his PFDJ-junta. Consequently, let Eritrean highland Tigrinya remnants in Diaspora know, our absence from the demonstration show-case on February 22nd 2010 as we don’t believe in tyranny at all. Back to page one <<<