Complicity of Eritrea in the Kenyan school massacre
By Berhane Kahsay
Tigrai Online, April 3, 2015
Al-Shebab owes its existence to the ostracized and isolated small nation on the Horn of Africa, Eritrea.
Kenya has been plunged into a state of mourning due to the massacre of 147 university students and others by the terrorist group, Al-Shabab. A similar heinous crime was perpetrated in the Westgate shopping mall siege in Nairobi in 2013 resulting in the death of 67 innocent people. Uganda has also been the victim of the proscribed organization's odious act when it lost 76 of its citizens and other Africans in Kampala in 2010.
Al-Shabab owes its existence to the ostracized and isolated small nation on the Horn of Africa, Eritrea, which gained its independence from Ethiopia in 1993. The United Nations Somalia-Eritrea Monitoring Group (SEMG) has provided conclusive evidence implicating Eritrea as the main sponsor of the terrorist outfit that has been engaged in causing serious havoc in Somalia and neighboring countries since the collapse of its precursor, the Islamic Courts Union.
In 2009, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1907 imposing arms embargo on Eritrea as well as freezing the assets of some of the country’s political and military leaders. It appears that the punitive sanctions seem to be hurting the Eritrean people rather than the political elite and it is high time that a regime change should seriously be considered before the entire Horn region descends into a grave and stubborn crisis.
Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Sudan should come together and coordinate a short joint military action to remove the current government in Eritrea and help the people form a democratically elected administration that would peacefully co-exist with its neighbors and beyond. If the Americans and Europeans can travel a great distance to alter regimes in for instance Libya and Iraq, why shouldn’t these African nations hop a few miles to finish off a dictator who has been a menace to his own people and others in the immediate vicinity?
The direct impact of the removal of the tyrannical regime in Eritrea would be the inability of Al-Shabab to commit terrorist deeds in the Eastern part of Africa in general, and Somalia in particular where an opportunity would be created for its re-construction and prevent it from becoming a hub and a hiding place for terrorists absconding from other countries. In addition, other groups armed and financed by the pariah state to destabilize countries like South Sudan, Sudan (Darfur) and Ethiopia would cease to exist. Eritrea’s involvement in the subversion of Djibouti to disrupt Ethiopia’s import and export of goods would come to abrupt end as well.
Regional stability would also encourage tourists to flock to the terrorist affected regions known for their majestic centuries old historical sites without any trepidation. Furthermore, increased numbers of foreign investors would be encourage to do business in the Horn area which has already become a host for mega multinational companies from all over the world.
Failure to deal with the prime backer of Al-Shabab would no doubt lead to further slaughters of innocent people as it would not always be possible to protect soft targets from Islamist attacks. So far Ethiopia has fared well compared to its neighbors but it is just a matter of time before the terror outfit strikes in a headline grabbing manner.