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Why Reluctant to Implement Decisions Against "Eritrean Regime?"

By Donnu Zeginfile
March 02, 2012

Nowadays, the foremost question is not pushing the Security Council and the rest of the international community along the track to impose sanctions and embargoes upon the dictatorial government of Eritrea. The question stands on the other side of the hill. It says; why are the Security Council and the rest of international organizations, states and pertinent institutions reluctant to take actions on the chauvinistic government of Eritrea as per the resolutions passed on the country?

Nevertheless, whether the Security Council and other concerned bodies get aware of what the Eritrean authorities are involved in or not, they never step even a single meter back from the plot they are interested in. To whatever extent the sanctions and embargoes escalate, they are a simple joke for the set of the Eritrean dictatorial leaders, but nothing significant. The stand of the Eritrean junta seems never to shake. They are there for conceiving, planning and acting according to the plot they conduct in Asmara. It is normal and appropriate thing for them to put the lives of millions of people in continual threat. It never bothers them, even if everybody barks on them to step-away from their wrong-doings.

During the video-conference of last year, held- between the IGAD leaders and the Security Council, Ismael Omar Guelleh, President of Djibouti, presented his side to the Council. He said, since the beginning of its aggressions against his country, Eritrea had long ignored efforts to resolve the dispute in a responsible manner. The people of Djibouti had welcomed the mediation accord signed in 2010 under the auspices of Qatar. But, unfortunately, the signing of that accord had not changed the views of Eritrea, which flagrantly continued its kidnapping and forced recruitment of young Djiboutian, who returned to the north to perpetrate terrorist attacks in Djibouti. His Government would never allow the Eritrean regime to carry out such attacks and, to that end, it had arrested rebels who were trained and sent by Eritrea to conduct such attacks. Weapons sent by the Eritrean regime had also been intercepted and that information had been conveyed to the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD), as well as to the United Nations.

Continuing, he said, despite article 3 of the mediation accord, which stipulated all parties would make available information on the 19 disappeared soldiers being held in Eritrea, that country still had not done so. For its part, Djibouti had sought to meet the accord’s requirements by inviting the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to meet with deserted soldiers from Eritrea. Although two of the Djiboutian soldiers, who had been held since June 2008, had escaped from detention camp in Eritrea, news of the other 17 soldiers was unavailable. He called for their immediate release without any pre-condition.

In addition to promoting regional instability, Eritrea threatened international peace and security, he stressed. Shirking sanctions, Eritrea had chosen to flout calls by the Council and regional organizations to change its behavior. He called on Council members to support the resolution presented on behalf of IGAD’s members. The present text was necessary because the previous resolutions and sanctions did not seem to contain Eritrea’s actions, according to the President Guelleh.

Eritrea, at a government standard, has been always trying to shift global concentration to what it is doing, by doing wrong deeds. As I mentioned earlier, it waged a crystal-clear war on Ethiopia before years and the dispute is still going on. In a very similar way, like what the president said, Eritrea waged war on Djibouti near the Ras Dumeira border areas. After the conflict went on some steps, the Government of Qatar culminated the conflict. A small peacekeeping mission of Qatar then deployed to the most disputed border areas of Ras Dumeira in June 2010 by the consent of both countries. But the underlying fact is, Eritrea refused to discuss about the Djiboutian military personnel missing in action and is supporting the insurgent militants of FRUD-Combatants. These two actions by the Government of Eritrea represented potential obstruction of the implementation of resolution 1862 (2009), in the context of Djibouti. It is obstructing, withstanding, resisting, obstacling, etc . . . all the efforts for peace.

Eritrea has been and is labeled anti-peace due to such non-controversial facts because of its terrorizing effects. It resisted and is still resisting all endeavors for peace. In the phenomena where the whole world is marching towards achieving reliable peace, democracy and development, to the contrary; the Eritrean regime is marching to the opposite direction. The World as a whole set Millennium Development Goals and is striving to hit the destined goals through the intensive efforts of common will. Having lessons of the armed conflict’s consequences, most countries of the planet are unwilling or it is not their primary choice to move to any type of conflict. In a world of these realities, the Eritrean government is heading towards repeated armed conflicts with many (nearly all) neighboring countries. Moreover, it is hosting the illegal insurgents and militant opposition groups. It extended its care for these groups and set another new strategy of threatening the horn countries. Through its citizens and members of those militant groups, it had been repeatedly trying to disrupt the peaceful movements of the East African countries through terrorism. This new phase of its development is not welcomed by anybody except the groups it cares and some radicalism organizations. As a result, many regional and international bodies tried to calm down the threat tensions initiated by the prime source of all of them, Eritrea, through continued negotiations and peace talks. Sadly, none of them become fruitful due to the heavy resistance of the Eritrean regime. Therefore, it is logical for me to conclude; Eritrea today is an anti-peace force.

In the case of Somalia, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, President of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, presented his major points regarding the Eritrean intervention in the domestic issues of his country to the Security Council, when he was around the same table with the other representatives of IGAD. He said, his people had been suffering from terrorism. His government had tried to reconcile with those groups, but interference by the Eritrean authorities had prevented that. Al-Shabaab and Al-Qaeda had the support of the Eritrean government by sea, land and air. The Eritrean regime had the ability to deliver assistance to Al-Shabaab from Eritrea to Somalia.

He said, although Somalia had no direct borders with Eritrea or a history of bad relations, current circumstances had caused much suffering in his country from the actions of Al-Shabaab. He had tried to resolve problems with Eritrea, including common friends, such as the late Muammar Qadhafi, who had called upon them to leave Somalia and reconcile. That proposition had been rejected. Mr. Ahmed said, he had also attended a sahel country meeting. Eritrea had not. He had called on Mr. Qadhafi to convince the Eritrean President not intervene in Somalia. That request had also been rejected by the President of Eritrea. Embassies in Kenya and elsewhere were aware of financial transactions and of military advisers being sent to Somalia to conduct training and attacking African Union Forces inside Somalia.

The regime in Eritrea had insisted on terrorizing the Somali people, and diplomatic talks had been rejected, Mr. Ahmed added. While he truly regretted the plight of the Eritrean people, the interests of his country and his neighbors were being harmed by the Eritrean ruling class and that was the reason for him to seek a decisive action on that harming power. IGAD did not usually meet in the absence of a member state unless the situation was dire. It currently went on that way and IGAD did so as a result.

According to the deductions conducted by the Monitoring Group, a responsible body assigned by the UN’s Security Council to examine real Situations pertaining disputes between Eritrea and Somalia /Eritrea and Djibouti; Eritrea is a prime source of instability of the region, but not to one or two countries only. Whereas Eritrean support to foreign armed opposition groups has in the past been limited to conventional military operations, the plot to disrupt the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa in January 2011, which envisaged mass casualty attacks against civilian targets and the strategic use of explosives to create a climate of fear, represents a qualitative shift in the Eritrean tactics. In clear words, Eritrea is fully engaged in terrorism. Such actions cannot be justified in the context of Eritrea’s bilateral dispute with Ethiopia.

Under normal circumstances, it gets very difficult for someone to deny the grim situations of Eritrea today. Ofcourse, nobody, except the blinded leaders of PFDJ, denied these situations including the Security Council of the UN. But the burning question is, knowing clearly these deeds of this government, why the Council is remained out of <decisive actions>? Once again, let me trace this point after having some discussions concerning the findings of the Monitoring Group.

The Group Stated, the fact that the same Eritrean Officers responsible for the planning and direction of the Addis Ababa operation, and are also involved both in supervisory and operational roles, in external operations in Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda, Somalia and the Sudan implies an enhanced level of threat to the region as a whole. The Addis Ababa plan appears to suggest networks under their supervision that have in the past been used for intelligence collection, illicit financial operations, smuggling people and other forms of support to conventional armed groups, may now be employed as support networks for more violent and destructive operations. Even though it placed the second round of sanctions and embargoes on Eritrea, the Security Council and the international community are expected to find true ways and means that are very important to curtail the capability of the Eritrean external operations directorate to disable not to conduct future operations having the Addis Ababa’s plan nature.

Now, I think’ I can agree with everyone who opens the pages of this article in a common conclusion: $. Eritrea is totally engulfed in the sea of spoiling every affirmative measure of the countries of the region. It is not engulfed in the Red sea water. But it enjoys the waves of terrorism by supporting all the opposition armed forces with the explosives and with the plans. If not, how could it come all the countries of the region strictly sanctioning it? No, they couldn’t do it out of the blue. They don’t have a common blind reason to hate Eritrea. The East African countries in general, Ethiopia in particular do have convincing reasons to shout against Eritrea to make it stop what it is doing in all its capabilities. Ethiopia was and is intelligent enough to abort what the Eritreans themselves and mercenaries of other countries like Ethiopia itself were processing inside Ethiopia. Many were caught red-handed. They were on the verge of destabilizing the splendid political stability of the country and were not allowed to do so. The telephone conversations among the Eritrean authorities of external operations directorate and their agents here in Ethiopia revealed, who they are and what the hell these people were intending to perform in Ethiopia. For instance, destruction of the newly built hydroelectric dams like Tekeze and Gilgel Gibe 2 was their primary mandate entailing the murder of government officials. However, the plans were detected in footsteps by the Ethiopian side and were aborted.

In South Ethiopia, especially in Wollayita, there is a proverb that can best explain the situation. It says; <rather than the calf barks thousand times, let the mother cow bark once!>. Yes, the barking by the mother cow is more effective to bring about change, decisive change. Countries of the region, East Africa, barked upon the Eritrean regime, which has been in restless efforts of dismantling the region for prolonged period of time. But it goes to be very effective if and only if the Security Council barks upon the Eritrean junta to divert or disqualify it from the track on which it is running. The Security Council is expected to use all options available on the table for the peace and security of the people of the region. It should stretch its hands to cut-down the abnormally growing (may be, due to biological disorder) hands of Eritrea in order to maintain the security of the region.

The notable tremendous terrorist actions and interferences, intended to tremble the region and evolve out of it as; < the major power of the region> are too many times conceived, planned and conducted by the Eritrean regime. Nothing confuses; this is the truth! In my personal view, the Security Council should think of bringing a shift in its legal measures on Eritrea. It shouldn’t endure the Eritrean government for so long time and give another opportunity for this terrorist power to steer another chaos of terrorism in the region, through its chain reaction. Why to endure the other dictator? Isayayis Afeworki is the world’s most endured dictator. He shouldn’t be endured for another extended period of time. This may mean extending the atrocity of the people of the region and the people of Eritrea respectively. Mathematically, if the Council remains reserved again, by forwarding sanctions and embargoes which the Eritrean government is ridiculing, where lays the responsibility of this international body? It is difficult for me to respond to this question.

The North African Country, Libya, suffered a lot from the attacks of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), which replaced the USA forces at least in principle. I mean, even before and after the replacement, the NATO was led by the USA plan. I personally do not care whether it is the USA or the NATO responsible for the attack. What I want to underline is, why was the attack conducted?  Why was such an amazing concentration given by France, England, USA and the like? Was it to liberate the Libyans from Qadhafi’s administration or was it to revenge Qadhafi of his ideologies against the western world? Or was it to take supremacy of the oil fields of Libya?  I don’t exactly know the true motive behind the attacks which ended-up in the assassination of the late Muammar Qadhafi. But, I can speculate and bring about personal suggestions.

Qadhafi, who overthrew the governor of his country in conspiracy, was a colonel of 29 years old when he seized the power. From the very beginning, he had harsh relations with the west and was condemning them in public. He was against their ideology and was suspected by them to support some major terrorist actions conducted almost in every part of the world. Moreover, he refused to hand over the two men who were responsible for the explosion of a passenger plane exploded in Ireland’s heaven. He finally handed over the two men but delayed the process for about a decade. Recently, due to the Arab-awakening movements which took place in the neighboring countries of Libya, the Libyans demanded change of government and expressed their will through mass demonstrations. Qadhafi refused to leave his power and his loyal forces tried to culminate the situation by killing and imprisoning too many people. Then, what happened was, the Security Council members, particularly the USA, repeatedly urged the Council to come-up on a decision which enables them to take military actions against Qadhafi forces on behalf of the people of Libya. The USA, France, England, and many other countries participated in the campaign against Libya and they did it. They did it in the way they were dreaming` to do.

Many professional analysts and amateurs like me were very much biased by then. The power seizure or overthrowing of an administration is an affair which belongs to the people of a given country, not to any foreign body. Putting aside this basic notion of sovereignty, the westerns intervened in Libya. For me, the intervention was not for the well-being of the people or any other reason at first instance. It is a revenge which was envisaged for years and changed to reality. It is a hidden desire to take the supremacy of the oil fields of that country. It is for nothing else in my opinion.

Whereas, in the case of the long-standing dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea, the Council is very much reserved to take a decisive action. Ethiopia, being a member state of the UN, has been invaded by the Eritrean forces. This is ascertained by the Council itself. If a member country is invaded by another country, let alone the internal affair like Libya, the council. is there to take all mandatory actions on the invading country. The action is or can be extended to a military action of destructing the selected military targets of that country. But, the Council is patiently looking at what Eritrea is doing even if the peacekeepers assigned by it are forced to leave the border areas by the Eritrean regime. For what purpose is this patience living long?  The Council is still patient enough with terrorizing effects of disrupting the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, last year. The dictatorial leader, behind all these bad deeds, is also endured.

Yes, Ethiopia is not having oil fields like Libya, Kuwait, and Iraq and so on. But, it is a member country of the UN, which participated in the global peacekeeping legacies and striving only for the realization of peace, democracy and development. It is a country with no background history of invading any other country. It is a country endowed with a glorious history of defending itself. Today, Ethiopia, under the leadership of Ethiopian people’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), registered a double digit economic growth for the consecutive eight years. This should be welcomed, recognized and looked after by the Security Council of the UN, in order to hit the common goals of the Millennium Development Goals. It shouldn’t be undermined. A mere sanction of no action of Eritrea can be seen as, undermining the development efforts of Ethiopia and the other countries of the region .Therefore, I wish the Council would revise what it really is doing now.

In my belief lack of crude oil /petroleum/ is one factor which made the supreme powers of the world reluctant to act as per the resolution passed on Ethiopia in favor of the remaining countries of the East African region. But it is not the only. Their desire, especially the Western’s, to see their neo-liberal ideology inside these countries and the resistance they encountered could be the other one. As well, historically, the former League of Nations and the functional UN has never stood on the side of Ethiopia with clear basis though Ethiopia was and is having true claims.

Anyway, One day, at a point, if not leaves the way it goes on, Eritrea will pay for what it is doing today. All the calculations will be summed-up in such a way that, other dictators were obliged to swallow. The countries of the region may not endure this power as long as it is expecting. It seems, the endurance of these countries is coming to stop somewhere in the near future.

Until then, the IGAD countries are expected to strengthen themselves so as no Eritrean and Eritrean-led disruptions could take place in their respective countries. The national law enforcement and intelligence agencies of the East African region countries should sensitize more and more their personnel to the potential threat expected to be posed by the Eritrean military junta. They should make their defense and police forces fully aware of what the immediate prime source of instability of the region can do, if gets some openings. The eyes and ears of their intelligence personnel should be more active in contrast to the previous. These forces should have at least knowledge of what the Eritrean external operations directorate is doing. In general, the horn countries should assign higher priority to monitoring its (Eritrean) activities, and enhance information-sharing experiences with their partners.

In the case of Ethiopia, the general public and the government in power are aligned in the same line to defend any foreign attack, particularly the attacks from Eritrea. The nations, nationalities and peoples of the country are aware of the fact that, the Eritrean government is exerting all possible efforts to hinder the development endeavors of them. They know, Eritrea is a prime source of instability of the region in general and Ethiopia in particular. The Defense Forces of Ethiopia, who are representing all the nations, nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia carried-out their mandates bravely before and by now, they are ready enough to operate in whatever climate and landscape for the well- being of their people. So, I think it goes very fine for the Eritrean government to make consent of peace with all the rivals it created by itself.

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