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Herman Cohen says Assab does not belong to Ethiopia

Tigrai Online December 30, 2014

Herman Cohen says Assab does not belong to Ethiopia
Photo: Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Herman Cohen with Eritrean government supporter Sophia Tesfamariam.

We are not sure what prompted Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Herman Cohen to start talking about Eritrean ports, but he must know something.

Mr. Herman Cohen said he did not say the port Assab belongs to Ethiopia, but Ethiopia has a right to use it.

There are some people in Ethiopia who said that during the London Conference of 1991 I recommended that the Port of Assab belonged to Ethiopia. This is not correct. What I recommended was Ethiopia and Eritrea maintain a common economic union after Eritrea’s independence and, in that way, Ethiopia could use the Port of Assab,” he said.

Some Ethiopians have been saying the United States government wanted Assab to be part of Ethiopia, but the TPLF leaders at the London meeting rejected the idea. As part of misinformation the extremists used this kind of lies to install hate among Ethiopians. Now the man who is supposed to be saying that statement came out and straightened the facts the issue is settled.

There is no way on earth any Ethiopian on his right mind would reject the idea of getting a sea outlet for Ethiopia.

The question now should be why are some international powerful people talking about Ethiopia and the port of Assab? While Ethiopia and Djibouti are discussing a possible unification, the chatter about the use of Eritrean ports is becoming louder and louder.

Ethiopia is building multiple train railway projects that would permanently and directly connect different regions of Ethiopia to the port of Djibouti. This would completely eliminate the need for the ports in Eritrea. If Ethiopia and Djibouti become one country or get closer in some type of union, the possibility of using Eritrean ports will be closer to none.

These railway projects are huge and they will cost millions of dollars. That means once the projects are completed there is no going back. Some people are trying to rescue Eritrea by encouraging Ethiopia to use Assab port which is absolutely unacceptable at this point. First of all there will never be any normalization while the Ayder elementary school child killer is in power. Second any future relationship between Ethiopia and Eritrea should be based on the Ethiopian people’s vote. If Ethiopians vote to reject any relation with Eritrea, the will of the people should be respected.

Last year Mr. Herman Cohen and the former U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia David Shinn were campaigning to bring Eritrea from the deep freeze it is in. Their attempt failed to normalize Ethiopian and Eritrean relationship because they tried to do it without addressing the root cause of the problem.

As far as Ethiopians and Ethiopia is concerned, if Eritrea is freezing or warm and comfy it is none of our business as long as they stayed away from our country.


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