Saudi Arabia accused Eritrea of arming Yemeni Houthis
By Berhane Kahsay
Tigrai Online, April 11, 2015
Saudi Arabia accused Eritrea channeling Iranian arms to Yemeni Houthis fighting the government in Yemen.
Eritrea is in the news once again. World Bulletin.com which is located in Ankara, Turkey, reported that the East African nation has been involved in channelling Iranian arms to Yemeni Houthis fighting the government which is supported by Saudi Arabia and the international community. The Eritrean Foreign Minister vigorously contested the allegation but this is to be expected from a country that refuted sponsoring Al-Shebab in the presence of indisputable evidence complied by the United Nation’s Somalia-Eritrea Monitoring Group. As Eritrea has not discontinued supplying arms to various terrorist organisations, the Monitoring Group’s mandate has been extended until 30th November, 2015 by Resolution 2182(2014).
It is to be recalled that the Eritrean President denied any knowledge when Eritrean football players and athletes absconded and claimed asylum in Kenya (2009), Tanzania (2011), Uganda (2012) and UK after the London Olympics in 2012. Further denials of the self-appointed leader include not knowing the whereabouts of the Swedish-Eritrean journalist, Dawit Isaac, who was arrested in 2001 and placed in a freight container on his orders. Reputable sources have disclosed that the Swedish activist and journalist died in October 2011 in similar circumstances to that of Mohammed Sherifo and the former Chief of Staff, General Eqbay Abraha. No one knows for sure if the remaining G-11 members and journalists who have been in prison since 2001 are dead or alive.
An isolated and shunned nation that seems to be slowly but surely sinking under the weight of UN sanctions has been approved for 122 million Euros development aid by the European Union, and the fact that Eritrea has been involved in financing, training and arming outlawed terrorist groups was not taken into account when the decision to endorse the aid package was made. EU Commissioner, Mr Louis Michel stated that ’’although the human rights situation in the country was of great concern to the Commission, engagement is the best response...’’ The same Commissioner made the same statement in 2007 when 122 million Euros were granted. Has the so-called ‘’engagement’’ altered the political situation in Eritrea? Definitely not!
The current environment in the country is much worse than it was in 2007 and the number of young and old people fleeing their country under the hail of bullets is at an all time high. In Ethiopia alone, there are over 100,000 refugees, and according to the recent UNHCR report, about 2000 Eritreans cross into Ethiopia every month. In 2014, more than 11, 000 Eritreans have sought refuge in Sudan. During the same year, the number of Eritreans who applied for political asylum in 38 European countries was estimated to be nearly 40,000. It is to be remembered that 300 Eritreans perished when their boat capsized and sank half a mile from the Italian coast, Lampedusa, in October 2013. Flags flew at half-mast across Ethiopia in memory of the victims in line with AU’s declaration to observe a continental day of mourning; on the other hand, Esayass was doing his utmost to deceive his own people by claiming that the deceased were not Eritreans.
Numerous Eritreans attempting to reach Israel via Egypt have also been the victims of Egyptian Bedouins who forcibly open them up with blunt instruments and remove their kidneys to be sold for around $50,000 as stated by the victims of the ruthless Arabs who shared their harrowing experiences with Australia’s SBS radio in 2014. Unfortunately, those that have made it to Israel against all odds are among the 42,000 people ready to be deported to unidentified countries.
Most Eritreans in the Diaspora have vehemently opposed the latest European aid package as they believe that it would not help the ordinary citizens’ one iota but prolong the life of a repressive regime that has been in power since independence. Many also appear to have resigned to the fact that the latest 122 million Euros would end up in HSBC Swiss branch where the $695,000,000 that belongs to the Eritrean President and his inner circles have been safely stashed away.
The European Union is simply squandering tax payer’s money resuscitating a tyrannical administration which has lost the support and confidence of a cross section of the Eritrean people. Moreover, aiding a regime that has been at war with its immediate neighbours and is arming militants such as Al-Shebab and Houthis is highly irresponsible. It is grossly erroneous to believe that a few million Euros would stem the flow of Eritrean refugees that begun to unfold only less than ten years after independence that required 30 years of hard armed struggle.
Without a comprehensive political change, it would literally be impossible to curtail the flight of hundreds and thousands of innocent people who have been escaping from their home land as a consequence of the persistent and severe repressions. But the fact of the matter is that the Eritrea President has made it absolutely clear that democratisation process would not be feasible as long as his country remains in a state of war with Ethiopia. This being the case, it is not entirely clear as to why the European Union is proposing ‘’engagement’’ with a callous dictator who detests pluralism and would not be prepared to disturb the existing status quo that is ensuring his firm grip on power.
It is pretty obvious that the border demarcation with Ethiopia is simply a convenient ploy routinely employed by the Eritrean leader to mask his real intention of remaining at the helm for as long as necessary. Only gullible Eritreans would believe that sorting out the border dispute with Ethiopia would kick-start the democratisation process in their country. If these people knew the history of the deceitful Shabiya, they would not fall for such a disingenuous stratagem.
Esayass is definitely beyond redemption and the European Union ought to re-consider its decision to keep a tyrant afloat and inadvertently perpetuate the rampant religious and political persecutions. Saudi Arabia must also use its influence in the Arab world and terminate the flow of petro-dollars reaching Eritrea especially from the Emirate of Qatar. Esayass is under intense pressure as a result of his meddling in other countries affairs; it is just a matter of time before a concerted effort is applied to hasten his departure. In the meantime, ‘’Woyane’’ should save its long range missiles and simply watch the dictator’s empire disintegrate in front of his eyes.