Has push not come to shove yet for the Government
By Dilwenberu Nega
Tigrai Online, Ethiopian News, July 15, 2016
Hardly a month passes by without Ethiopia’s reputable National Security and Intelligence Service and Federal Police Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force issuing a statement either of it nipping in the bud a G7-Shabia terrorist attack, or that it has succeeded in apprehending armed groups sent from Eritrea in order to scupper our durable peace, our pluralistic democracy and our onward march to growth and prosperity. Equally true is the Government’s umpteen “calibrated and teachable” mostly aerial attacks on targeted positions inside Eritrea.
While there is no question that Ethiopia’s retaliatory attacks did succeed in destroying anti-Ethiopia terrorist camps around the Ethio-Eritrea border and in despoiling Eritrea’s military installations inside Eritrea, there must be no denying the irrefutable truth that these efforts have so far failed miserably to rid Eritrea’s tyrant leader off his soaring ambition and unshrinking determination to destabilise, not to say to dismember, our “Oasis of tranquillity in a troubled Region.”
Last month when news of a border clash between Ethiopian and Eritrean forces dominated the airways and cyberspace, I was sipping coffee at a packed German Café in that part of Kazainshis dubbed “Addis Manhattan.” There customers were unabashedly praising the Government’s retaliatory actions. Surprised at the way customers were venting their pent-up feelings of anger and resentment at Shabia’s incursions to maim and kill innocent Ethiopians, I joined in the discussion. To my pleasant surprise, I quickly found out that I was on the same wave-length with the customers. While we all agreed that extreme poverty, and not Eritrea, remains our one and only enemy, the sad truth, however, is that the State of Eritrea – not Eritreans – is wedded to a dogged determination to destabilise Ethiopia.
To the great majority of Ethiopians now, push has come to shove as far as our relations with the State of Eritrea is concerned. You dare not accuse me of being a jingoist, for I am not. Nor am I a pacifist for that matter. I am a realist. The primordial duty of any government has from time immemorial been the safety of its citizens. In this regard, the ruling EPRDF’s track record in general and those of our security and law enforcement forces, not to mention, our defence forces in particular is redolent with fulsome praise. Today’s reality on the ground, however, spurs us to ask ourselves whether the ruling party’s renowned sense of genial tolerance has outlived its sell-by-date.
The recent binge of street violence in Gondar which, according to the Mayor of Gondar, took the lives of 14 law enforcement officers, was planned and executed by quislings from Ethiopia who take orders from what Minister of Government Communication, Mr Getachew Reda, speaking on Radio Fana, euphemistically referred to “Foreign Enemies of Ethiopia.”
With election-win dodger turned guerrilla fighter, Dr Birhanu Nega, and his official organ, ESAT, churning out notorious lies, there is no way in which Isaias Afewerki is going to abandon his vision of destabilising and dismembering Ethiopia.
It’s high time that the Government indulges on a re-think. Is the Government going to continue ‘punishing’ the rogue state knowing full well that its calibrated retaliatory measures against Eritrea have so far failed to stop Isaias Afewerki’s terrorist incursions inside Ethiopia? Or is the Government going to do the unthinkable and issue a final and public ultimatum to Isaias to stop meddling in Ethiopia or face the full force of our tried and tested defence forces. Only an all-out blitzkrieg attack, coupled with a carefully crafted exit strategy will ensure durable peace and stability so that the Motherland can continue to flourish.