Esayass’s treacherous deed against Qatar and Iran
By Berhane Kahsay
Tigrai Online, June 25, 2017
The Eritrean President is not a man you can do business with. His track record is full of duplicity, double dealing and outright deception that goes all the way back to the time of the armed struggle and never seems to abate. True to form, the Eritrean supremo has lately been in the news when he publically announced his support for Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt in their dispute with Qatar which they accused of destabilising the region by backing Islamist groups.
For decades, Qatar sustained the dictator’s regime by pumping millions of dollars which helped him to stabilise his precarious and withering regime. But when Qatar came under a ferocious assault from Saudi Arabia and its entourage, the Eritrean leader failed to support the Arab nation that single-handedly kept his tyrannical rule afloat for decades. For a number of years, Qatar conspired with Eritrea to harm Ethiopia and being betrayed by its former lackey was not more than what it deserved.
Qatar was not only providing monetary assistance that partially reduced the decades old queues for state rations, but it also provided copies amount of fuel that kept the lights of the Presidential palace and the homes of army Generals on. Moreover, his guarantor imperilled the lives of its own peace-keeping forces by stationing them between Djibouti and Eritrea which clashed in 2008 when Eritrea forcibly occupied, Dumeria Mountian and Dumeria. Qatar has now withdrawn her troops and Eritrea immediately re-occupied the disputed areas despite Djibouti’s stern protestations. The African Union has called for caution but Eritrea is refusing to heed and the possible outcome of this obstinacy is likely to be the resumption of unnecessary conflict that could exacerbate the already volatile situation in the Horn region.
Eritrea’s long standing relationship with Iran was also brought to an abrupt end in 2016 when the Eritrean leader broke ties with the Islamic Republic, which backs Shia Yemeni Houthis, and joined Gulf States determined to remove the rebels and install a Sunni led regime in its place. As with Qatar, Iran also financed the Eritrean leader and helped him to remain in power and linger with his suppressive rule.
Until recently, Esayass allowed Iranian weapon shipments to be delivered to Eritrean coastal towns en-route to Houthi rebels. Assab has now been leased to Saudi Arabia and CO to be used as a lunching-pad to dislodge the rebels that he used to support along with Iran. At one stage, the relationship between Eritrea and Iran was so tight, the Islamic Republic was granted exclusive control of the Red Sea nation’s oil refinery. Eritrea also sided with Iran on its nuclear programme and the leader of the Red Sea state publically said: Iran’s nuclear program is a source of pride for us and we support the country’s stand in this regard.’’
The Eritrean President, who betrayed his own comrades and Woyane, is unscrupulous and would do anything to hang-on to power including leasing his country to the Arabs whose sole aim is to curtail, at any cost, the religious hegemony of Iran in Yemen, Syria and beyond; Saudi Arabia desires to enlarge her domain by spreading the strict sort of Sunni Islam and would go to any length to castigate those that stand in her way. Qatar is now paying the price for failing to comply with the Saudi’s, and the small oil rich nation, has been given a list of demands that would have to be addressed before the economic and diplomatic isolation could be lifted. Among these is pulling the plug on Al-Jazeera which is located in Doha, the capital of Qatar.
Egypt was also at the receiving end of the Saudi’s wrath this year, but now all has been forgiven because it has come-out supporting the measures taken against Qatar. This move was in addition to the capitulating transfer of Tiran and Sana fir Islands to Saudi Arabia despite a court ruling against it and a virulent public backlash. If powerful Egypt and petrodollar rich Qatar have submitted to Saudi Arabia, it won’t be too long before the vulnerable and impoverished Eritrea comes under the Kingdom’s total hegemony possibly forcing Christians to pray under the cover of darkness. It is just a matter of time before every corner of Eritrea is littered with prominent minarets.
For sure, pocket-sized Eritrea wouldn’t do what it did to Qatar and Iran because crossing the powerful Gulf States would have serious and far reaching ramifications. Syria and Yemen, where over 500,000 people have been killed since the conflicts begun, are clear instances of what the Saudi’s and their followers could inflict if they don’t get their way.
Ethiopia has been encircled by the Arabs which for the time being have revived the fortunes of the Eritrean President who has been a serious threat to the home of the African Union since his defeat during the border conflict. The Horn nation requires an urgent strategy to counter Arab intentions of making Ethiopia a subservient state by halting its import and export activities by cajoling Muslim Djibouti with financial inducements. No doubt that scuppering the enduring economic progress that has placed Ethiopia at the top of the fastest growing economies in the world in 2017 could pose a serious threat to her unity and territorial integrity. It is just naïve and certainly myopic for Premier Desalgen to say that: ‘’Saudi Arabia and UAE have assured us that they would not be engaged in activities that would endanger the peace and security of Ethiopia.’’ This is laughable indeed---- we have now reached a stage where we have to demand the dismissal of the clueless Prime Mister and replace him with Meles Mark II.