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Dealing With a Pariah State in the Horn of Africa

By Ezana Sehay
Tigrai Online - June 04, 2013

When I read the Eritrean regime’s official response to the UN Somalia Eritrea monitoring group’s report on the regime’s policy of regional destabilization and domestic reparation, I wasn’t surprised and yet very disappointed.

Frankly, I was expecting the response to like this;

--- you got me,--- I’m busted,---forgive me for I have committed  crimes against the region and my own people --- but if given a chance I promise all that will change----

But to the contrary, despite all the irrefutable evidences supported by video, audio, transcripts and personal testimonies the regime still insists the world got it wrong.

The problem with this hermit state is , it can’t differentiate between its people which it classify them as children who are mere words of state , to whom it lies, distorts, fabricates, and manufactures events with  impunity and the international community which has the ability not only to expose its deceptions but also  hold it  to account for it actions.

Although, it stands being accused of violating the UN charter and the international law, it wants the Security Council to sanitize its crimes and mock the suffering of the Eritrean people.

As I write this article the UN body is debating its next course of action in dealing with this outlaw state.

So, what would constitute a right action?

Before I suggest what appropriate measures should be considered, let me remind the reader the gravity of the Eritrean regime actions that undermines the basic principle of domestic, international  and humanitarian law.

Addis to Baghdad

As illustrated in the monitoring report the Eritrean regime had an elaborate plan to change ‘Addis in to Baghdad’ by blowing up public places during the African union summit in January, 2011. Had this plan executed the causalities could have been comparable in magnitude to the bombing of the city of Masawa with napalm and cluster bomb by the Derg regime in 1990. And the brutal air campaign by the same regime to massacre thousands of innocent civilians in the town of Hawzen in 1988.

This shows the butchers in Asmara’s scant regard for human life or civilized norms. But it also puts in to question the sanity of these people. It also validates the argument that, Al Qaeda may be more dangerous internationally at the moment, but the belligerent leadership and viciously anti – neighbor state creed, Eritrea and its various terrorist surrogates remain a greater threat to the stability of the Horn of Africa.

Eritrea is the principal underwriter of the terrorist organizations opposed to its neighbors. It is the largest supplier of arms to the AL SHABAB of Somalia. It was the director of the strings of terror attacks in Ethiopia by supplying much of the funding and training to the terrorists who blew up cafes, hotels and mini-buses in the capital.

The PFDJ clique which has been ruling Eritrea for the last two decades have miserably failed in every sense of state formation.  Today Eritrea is the only country without formal constitution and any semblance of normal government structure. But that seems to be of little concern to this mafia group. Instead it is devoting all of its meager resources in to drugging the region down with it. And it will use any means, however hideous, to accomplish that objective.

Yet, the plot to blow up public places in the Ethiopian capital with the aim of maximum casualty is brazen, even for the Isayas regime.

Had the attack materialized, it would’ve been an act of war. Even the plot itself can be put in this category and the Ethiopians would be morally justified in pursuing military retribution.

Moreover, the plot shows, the Asmara leadership it is not only steeped up in poisonous anti-Ethiopian hatred but also in Isayas fantasies that negate the presumption of self-preservation, the very basis of the military doctrine of deterrence

Put it another way, the mad man could see his country’s annihilation as a price worth paying if he could take few thousand Ethiopians with it.

Fortunately, Eritrea’s repressive despots are loathed as much at home as abroad. And it seems it won’t be long before the regime falls. Until that eventuality this is what I think the international community ought to do.

 The country’s diplomats should be prevented from travelling abroad through the refusal of visas and landing permits.

The regime use of foreign banks should be cut off.

The existing sanctions should be expanded and enforced’

The Ethiopian  intelligence community has done its country a great service in disrupting this sinister criminal conspiracy which might have taken many lives and even led to outright war: the Eritrean regime perversely, have performed a service too. It has shown us its true, murderous face: and an urgent need of the civilized world to correct it.

History shows us that sustained international judicial effort can bring dictators like Pinochet and Milosevic to justice. A collective diplomatic push when synchronized with the demands of the local population can topple tyrants like Gaddafi and persistent economic pressure can force oppressive leaders like Mugabe of Zimbabwe and the military junta of my Myanmar to at least change course.

Therefore the choice for the Security Council is clear and simple; it can either act or be on the wrong side of history.

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