By Dilwenberu Nega
Tigrai Onlne - July 01, 2014
Andargatchew Tsige’s detention at Sana’a Airport by Yemeni intelligence officers, while en route to Asmara, has attracted an unprecedented hue and cry from Ginbot 7 and its gung-ho supporters.
In a statement couched in the lexicon of a fully-fledged ruling part, rather than in a language of a pathetic and disparate anti-EPRDF politicians, which it is, G7 reported that as its week-long behind the scene efforts (unconfirmed reports claim that Eritrea’s President Afewerki was on the phone daily to President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi of Yemen urging him to release Andy) to secure Andy’s release has failed, it will now resort to acts of retaliation against Yemen if Andy is handed over to Ethiopia.
This is nothing more than braggadocio par excellence on the part of a preeminent nonentity organization which has been rendered useless by the amputation of its right hand man.
Will Yemen hand over to Ethiopia the Secretary General of a declared “terrorist organisation” and who happens to be one of fourteen sentenced in absentia to life in prison for their part in the 2009 putsch to overthrow the EPRDF-led Government of Ethiopia?
The short answer is “Yes” it will. This is because not only are Ethio-Yemeni relations now back in full swing, after a hiatus of two years following the instability and arrest in Yemen which culminated in the overthrow of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, but more specifically because the Republic of Yemen is bound by the Ethio-Yemeni Security Pact (EYSP) of 1999 to handover Andy to the FDRE.
The 1999 Ethiopia-Yemen Security Pact makes it crystal clear that the two states are determined to, inter alia, “jointly engage any third party that attempts to destabilise the long-standing brotherly and historic ties between the two countries, and not to harbour elements seeking to destabilise the other’s peace and stability.” The burning question then ought to be when, and not if, Yemen will transfer Andy to Ethiopia whatever his nationality.
There is no doubt in peoples’ mind then that Andy’s arrest has come like a bolt from the blue to the Chairman of G7 who has put a brave face to conceal what is for all intents and purposes the most mortifying defeat to hit G7 since its inception. Its estranged Chairman, whose cowardice in the face of a slightest act of provocation is an open secret to all and sundry, is believed to have turned into a demi-zombie minutes after he was informed that Andy was frog-marched from ElRahaba Airport, Sana’a, by Yemeni law enforcement officers.
The elimination of Andy from G7’s hierarchy couldn’t have come at a worse moment for an organization which had been beset by a variety of problems. Birhanu’s lacklustre leadership had come under attack from its own members and this in turn has resulted in the implosion of G7 with the splinter group now firmly ensconced in a new rival political grouping – Ginbot 7 Democratic. With more and more Ethiopians in the diaspora viewing the leadership of G7 as a bunch of cowboy politicians, donations to both G7 and its propaganda arm, ESAT, has dried up. Egypt’s newly elected President; Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s intent to pursue a more conciliatory line in Egypt’s dealings with Ethiopia has offended G7 and its supporters for they had wrongly pinned their hope on Egypt aiding and abetting elements hell-bent on destabilising Ethiopia.
Andy is no run-of-the-mill member of Ginbot 7. He was the engine that moved the whole G7 machinery. Moreover, as a notorious, not to say disgusting, toady of Eritrea’s President-for-Life, Isaias Afewerki, he is singularly credited for facilitating a “4 Star Treatment” in Asmara to Ethiopian quislings ready to join Eritrea proxy war against Ethiopia. Financial assistance from Asmara was also entirely dependent on the proximity Andy enjoyed with Eritrea’s tyrant. Now with Andy gone and with Birhanu not willing to leave the comfort of his American home and fight in the highlands and lowlands of Ethiopia, for his beliefs, it seems G7 is on track to join the league of living dead organizations before the end of 2014.