Statement of the Chairperson of the Commission on the Horn of Africa (07.09.2018)
I write what I like.
Considering that the peoples of Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea share close ties of geography, history, culture and religion as well as vital common interests;
Respecting each other’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity;
Desiring to bolster their historical ties to achieve their lofty objectives;
The Governments of Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea have reached the following agreement that reflects the aspirations of their peoples:-
1. The three countries shall foster comprehensive cooperation that advances the goals of their peoples.
2. The three countries shall build close political, economic, social, cultural and security ties.
3. The three countries shall work in coordination to promote regional peace and security.
4. The three governments hereby establish a Joint High-Level Committee to coordinate their efforts in the framework of this Joint Declaration.
Done in Asmara, September 5, 2018
For the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed
For the Federal Republic of Somalia
President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed
For the State of Eritrea
President Isaias Afwerki
President Farmajo, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki are scheduled to meet in Asmara on 6th and 7th September.
MOGADISHU, Somalia, September 5, 2018 – Mogadishu 5th September 2018; The president of the Federal Republic of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo is leading efforts to consolidate gains made at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation by facilitating the prospect of a tripartite agreement on economic Integration between the countries of the Horn.
President Farmajo, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki are scheduled to meet in Asmara on 6th and 7th September to hold discussions on strengthening the economic and security stability of the region.
The leaders would also discuss measures to end all political and social conflicts between the countries of the horn to promote harmony and a happy coexistence between neighbors of the horn.
President Farmajo’s vision is to promote free trade flow, and a mutual economic cooperation between all the countries of the Horn of Africa.
Somalia seeks to play a key role in economic and social integration of the Horn of Africa to foster trade and investment, and to improve connectivity between the people and businesses of the Horn.
In Beijing, Somalia signed the Belt and Road Initiative that enhances connectivity and promotes economic development, and an agreement on improving Economic and Technical Cooperation between China and Somalia.
Somalia’s ambition to take the lead in facilitating a robust Horn of Africa trade bloc would foster stronger economic stability and development for the Horn nations.
Sometimes, just sometimes you wonder what is going and why, why is this happening and what is their reasons for doing so. Now the Ethiopian Revolutionary People’s Defence Force (EPRDF) are planning to build a navy. That means warships, submarines and docks, which can have these boats. If this Lake Tana or the Blue Nile or if they planning to be stationed in either Djibouti or Somalia. Who knows, but they are not having that many options. Since, they are landlocked.
This is coming, the day after Council of Ministers accept the start to draft to lift the State of Emergency. This is happening as the Chinese is winding down their investments as the debt is growing and lack of foreign exchange. You can wonder why they want to invest in that now and for what reason?
Because, you don’t extend your reach and your military, either on land, in the air or at sea. Unless, you having a plan or any ideas of usage. If they are doing this to secure the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), if they are planning to have boats on the boarders to Sudan on the Blue Nile. Because that would make sense, but they could just order Long Range Missiles and Anti-Aircraft Guns, if they we’re afraid and station them there. A navy there doesn’t make sense in that regard.
I just wonder what is the use, unless, they want supremacy all over the Horn of Africa. If the Ethiopians want a giant military and navy, to secure power over Somalia, Djibouti and Eritrea. That they want to be the kingpins in the area. Because that is the only thing that makes sense. If they does this, will they work together with UNSOM and fight piracy in and around the coast of Somalia? What else are they supposed to do?
It is not like they got a coastline, they don’t have fisheries and foreign troops landing on their coast to get into Ethiopia and invade it. You have either an army and navy for defense or attack. They could be a standby force, a standby navy, but why spend fortunes on warships, on submarines and other naval boats that are there for one reason. You don’t get military boats to go fishing, neither to do research or even something needed at sea.
Warships is to stop enemy from getting to shore, to secure the harbors and the coasts from enemy forces. You don’t have a navy to have funky ships at port and YMCA discos. If so, then the Ethiopian government can take an expedition to San Francisco and see the sights.
I look forward to hear the reasoning for a landlocked country investing in a navy, unless their securing the GERD. That is the defensive military thing, that would make sense, unless they are annexing other coastal lines close by their borders.
What else will these vessels do?
I do not have the answers, but asking questions, that should be within reason, as it is foolish not ask this. I would do the same thing with any landlocked country. When you don’t have a coastline, when you don’t have a border to the ocean. What need do you have of a navy?
Unless, you plan to annex coastal border land with both soldiers, tanks and warships. Peace.
“When one with honeyed words but evil mind
Persuades the mob, great woes befall the state.” – Euripides
As things are standing in Ethiopia there are minor changes in the ways it is perceived, this mostly because of how the new Prime Minister is carrying himself. This being Dr. Abiy Ahmed whose been all around and visiting all parts of the Republic. However, there been continued oppression, detaining and killings during his tenure in the regions where the State of Emergency has hit the hardest. This being in Oromia, Somalia Region and Amhara. All of these areas has been hit hard by the State of Emergency, where the police and military, the Aghazi Squad has attacked civilians and killed too.
“Addis Ababa, June 2, 2018 (FBC) – The Council of Ministers in its today’s regular meeting approved a draft law that lifts the State of Emergency. The draft will be sent to the House of People’s Representatives (HPR) for consideration. The Council noted that law and order has been restored. Ethiopia declared a six-month State of Emergency on February 16, 2018” (Fana Broadcasting Company – ‘Council of Ministers approves draft bill to lift State of Emergency’ 02.06.2018).
Therefore I am reluctant about this move, as long as the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defence Force (EPRDF) is in power and using their methods. I wonder what is their safeguard and their next move, as they have done everything they can to silence dissidents. This being silencing phone-lines, blocking internet, stopping people from having sit-down strikes and generally banning all possible protests. While making activists, writers and everyone involved in these matters into criminals. Even as they fight for liberty and justice over their own. The EPRDF comes with the military as a hostile takeover and takes control. Instead of being in dialogue. That is what the State of Emergency and the provisions of the Commando Post is all about.
There is no reflection or anything saying that they will really change, the SOE now was really to stall for time. The demonstrations and the protest spirit is not gone, there are still lingering thousands upon thousands in jail. Even as high-profiled individuals has been released. The majority is still behind bars and the lack of freedom is still there. The New PM hasn’t changed that or the laws, not tried to repeal the Anti-Terror laws, which has used to oppress civilians who protest against the EPRDF.
We can hope for change, but its still lots of the same. The powers are within the same structures, a small change in the cabinet, but the reality is that Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is still controlling the EPRDF. The government and its institution isn’t significantly changed, even as the Prime Minister has been in talks with Oromo Opposition leaders. That is positive step, just as the possible repeal of the SOE. However, as long as no one takes responsibility of the violence, the killings and the arbitrary arrests, there will not be real changes. It will just be patches on the hurt, but when the wounds are evident. The flair and the flames will start again, because no one acted upon the hurt. That should be the vision of the EPRDF, to take responsibility and charge itself. If they are real about the damage and hurt it has given over the years. Not just walk away because your in power.
Who knows if they within a months time repeal the SOE, will they do it again if the Queerro are starting to block the roads and stop businesses from moving goods from Djibouti to Addis. Will the army and the police accept that? As the TPLF and EPRDF will lose foreign exchange on it and also possible profits from doing so. Will they accept that the Amhara are also closing the roads into the capital. Would they accept it, as they are not listened to or even considered. As long as the government are caring about themselves. That is the reality.
This is a positive step, but if it is not followed up by more heartfelt measures, the reality will hit the fan and the possible violence will appear, because the government haven’t shown another side or character. Peace.