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Today’s Ethiopia: not subsumed by or subservient to the United States of America

By Dilwenberu Nega
March 27, 2012

Asmara’s political weird elite are at it again! It’s been quite sometime since the mouth of President Isaias Afewerki had turned into an abode of lies, but his latest interview with EriTV takes the biscuit.

Interviews by heads of state or heads of government are so crucial that they are repeatedly reminded – or so it should be – to mind their Ps and Qs. This is done for the obvious reason that leaders avoid making gaffes or being caught wrong-footed. Pity, then, journalists assigned to interview Asmara’s strongman. Interviews with President Isais are at best banal and at worst ridiculous. Nearly all of his past interviews are littered with contempt and indignation as well as with rhapsodies and panegyrics. This surly cannot be good for an egomaniac who flaunts of being the leader of a superior race. And it surly must be a source of embarrassment, too, for his diminishing supporters within the Eritrean Diaspora to see their leader act like a clown on prime time EriTV.

I beg you to not misunderstand or misconstrue my opinion. My intention here is not to poke my nose into what are strictly the internal affairs of the State of Eritrea, for I believe – as Prime Minister Meles Zenawi had once put it aptly - “it is none of my business if the occupant of Asmara’s National Palace happens to be a baboon.” I rose to the occasion because of President Isaias’ fallacious claim that Ethiopia’s recent retaliatory attack on terrorist training camps in Eritrea was nudged by the CIA.

While to hold on to this view would not only be crass boosterism, but it also confirms the suspicion of friends and foes alike that President Isaias has taken leave of his senses.

There is no denying the fact that all-round bilateral relations between Ethiopia and the United States are at an all time high, and this is something which is good for both the people and coalition government of Ethiopia. Yes, Ethiopia and the United States work in cahoots on good governance, on building and reinforcing democratic institutions. And, yes, too, we work in unison to fight terrorism. But by Jove, we do not have to be egged on by any country, let alone by the United States, to defend our sovereignty, our territorial integrity and our peace. Today’s Ethiopia is not only at peace with herself, but she is a power to be reckoned with. It is the refusal of this indefatigable truth by Asmara that has led its leader to come up with a concoction which does not hold water.

Ethiopia had never sought permission from any quarters when we out-rooted Eritrean aggressors from Bademe and we will never seek the imprimatur of any country to ward off terrorist attacks from Eritrea. However close our bilateral relations with the United States are, and no matter what a steadfast ally against international terrorism we have proved to be,  we are not and will never be subsumed by and subservient to the United States. This is what makes us, Ethiopians, walk with our heads high wherever we happen to reside – a luxury our Eritrean brothers and sisters can ill afford.

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