There are plenty who celebrates the lifting of arms-embargo, asset freeze and targeted sanctions on Asmara and the Eritrean Government, that is happening as the second triparte meeting happened over the weekend. The Peace Agreement with Addis Ababa and Mogadishu is a giant step in peaceful interaction and a better Horn of Africa. However, the Eritrean government is still the same one as before.
It is not like the Eritrean government has stopped their long military subscriptions, using military to do slave labor for the generals and so on. The Presidency of Isias Afwerki is still more of the same. Not like there are openness and trust in the good values. Not like there are any coming elections or any sort of civic enterprise coming to the homes of Eritreans. Therefore, lifting sanctions only gives the Afwerki Administration more leeway and more fiscal funding for their embezzling ways.
The Eritrean military is known for indefinite conscription of their military personnel. That why many has fled and even done what they could to seek refuge elsewhere. On the African Continent, the Eritrean government is the one with the highest amount of political prisoners.
There is most likely no change in the structures of Asmara or the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ), which is a one-party state. A state where Afwerki has his fiefdom. With the 15-0 United Nations Security Council voting on the 14th November 2018 to end the sanctions. Will most likely give him more power to continue his rule. The leverage and the bargain chips the UNSC had over Eritrea is now lost. These was put because of interference with Djibouti and Somalia. The arms trading to terrorist groups there. Therefore, the peaceful transition of the latest month has been positive.
Still, the reality in Asmara is more of the same. Not like the PFDJ will be transparent, hold elections or even care for a free press. Not like the Afwerki regime will stop the enslavement, torture, imprisonment and enforced disappearance of political adversaries, these acts will continue. We know that elections will not happen, as the latest one was happening in May 2004. If it was held, it would most likely be a one-party charade to facilitate an official second term for the President and nothing else. As he has been the President without question since independence in 1994.
So, the legitimacy and the recognition from the world has come the way of Eritrea. They are not a piraya or a dangerous dictatorship anymore. They are just a dictatorship with an iron-fist. Who doesn’t deserve sanctions anymore, because of their diplomatic relationship with Somalia and Ethiopia. The peace has served them well. Clearly the Asmara has gotten well off with this.
They are not changing or even testing the leadership, but letting the external relationship help the internal problems vanish. However, the same structures, the same military and sole dictatorship is still there. Not like that has changed over the last few months. No, it is more of the same. Therefore, the ones who voted for this, should consider the ramification and the elites earning on the sanctions. As they will benefit from this.
Afwerki might have waited long, but he is off the hook. Even if he still makes his suffer and take away their freedom. The International Community isn’t hurting the state anymore, not in the way it used too. Let see what the consequences of this is, but certainly it will only do the administration good. Not the public, as they are the same one used by PFDJ, when they need it. Peace.
“We fought for Eritrean independence from the colonial rule of Ethiopia. TPLF has paid a sacrifice for Eritrea greater than the combined sacrifice of the two Eritrean organizations – ELF and EPLF. Even if today Eritrea is attacked, EPRDF will jump into Eritrea, join the Eritrean people and engage the enemy.” – Sebhat Nega on Radio Woyane (May 28, 2007).
Just as the news and confirmed skirmishes on the border between Eritrea and Ethiopia, both nations have not only traded bullet, but also blame for the current aggression. The Eritrean takes their whole Liberation history and blames every bullet ever shot on their soil on Ethiopia, while Ethiopia say the recent ones was the last straw; also they did answer to new shots of guns and artillery from the Eritrean side. As they have not only sent bullet towards the Ethiopian Government, but also sent spies and others to try do create terrorism in Ethiopia.
As the Eritrean Ministry of Information wrote on 14th July 2016:
“The Government of Eritrea will issue detailed statement on the purpose, scope and implications of the latest act of military aggression by the TPLF regime. It is nonetheless clear that mounting opposition from popular movements of the Ethiopian people, endemic corruption and associated economic crisis, as well as the desire to stem promising progress in Eritrea are indeed some of the factors prompting the TPLF regime to indulge in reckless military adventures.” (Shabait.com, 14.06.2016).
“Ethiopia’s military was provoked into launching this week’s attack on Eritrean forces in a disputed border area” (…) ” “major military engagement” (…) “I hope this time around they won’t make that stupid mistake of inviting us to wage a full-scale war” – Government spokesperson Reda.
When you have this kind of strained relationship and also “non” friendship or even diplomacy, no matter what occurs the aggression is seen as a signal of war and cut off the cease-fire. This with the recent worrying reports:
“The Sunday attack of June 12, 2016, launched through the TPLF regime on the Tsorona Front was quashed on Monday (13 June) morning entailing heavy losses to its troops” (…) ” In this reckless attack whose ultimate aim is difficult to comprehend, more than 200 TPLF troops have been killed and more than 300 wounded. These are conservative estimates” (…) ”Why did this callous bloodshed happen? And, for what purpose?” (…) “Those who have instigated this reckless act have attempted to provide the TPLF with political, media and diplomatic smoke-screen, both before and after the attack. They have also deceitfully tried to apportion equal blame to the aggressor and the victim. The Government of Eritrea will address these dimensions of the attack in subsequent statements” (…) “Ministry of Information, Asmara, 16 June 2016 – Eritrean Government”.
While this is worrying enough and by all means the Eritreans wants the numbers as bad as possible for them, as they want to be violated and hurt, the killings would make Ethiopian Government bad, as they have not released any numbers of killings from the Eritrean Army towards them. Not that the numbers game are important, but the propaganda and winning the media war, is as important as the initial battle; Eritrea want to look decent, as the UN Report are addressing the harassment and torture of citizens. So the skirmishes are making people and states forgetting the human rights violations.
Therefore this have been floated and rumoured that the Ethiopian Government have answered towards the Eritrean counterparts:
“Sources familiar with the issue told Aigaforum the government has floated the idea to key western nations as a comprehensive plan for the horn of africa region. The Ethiopian government has informed many western nations that if Isaias Afewroki is not removed from power there will be war and Ethiopia will defend vigorously” (…) ”The issue of Isaias Afewroki’s removal from power gained momentum over the last few weeks with Al- Shabaab deadly attempt to overrun Ethiopia’s AMISOM military camp in Somalia. However, our sources told us the recent clash between Eritrea and Ethiopia in Tserona Northern Tigrai region may have given the proposal more ammunition” (…) ”Many in the government of Ethiopia are convinced the Eritrean army may rebel against Isaias Afeworki and if they are convinced about Ethiopia’s disinterest of overrunning Eritrea then they may reform and establish a government of their own that is willing to live in peace with its neighbors” (Aigaforum, 15.06.2016).
If this is so the Eritrean should worry about a full-fledged war against them as they would even get support from the United Nations Security Council, the donor-countries and the ones that are funding the Ethiopian Peacekeepers around on the African Continent; these are the ones that are offering training and educating the army of Ethiopia.
Not confirmed reports are that Gen. Deriba Mokonene of Tserona Front, have deflected from the Ethiopian side to the Eritrean, but that might just be hearsay. As non-official report, while the Ethiopian officials have also addressed the claim of 200 dead soldiers from their side:
“they are entitled to delude themselves” Ethiopia’s senior military official sarcastically responded to Awramba Times without giving further explanation, on conditions of anonymity” (Awramba Times, 16.06.2016).
This here will not be silent for a while as the aggression and military activity continues, while the relentless differing allegations and reports will not be able to verify, just as it took two days before the Ethiopian and Eritrean governments answered the claims of military actions in Tserona Front and around the border of the countries.
Every single person losing their lives on both sides is a sad loss of life, as this is both in the names of arrogance and leadership from above high, as the President of Eritrea and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia are both responsible for the loss of life. This is can be start of a new prolonged conflict between the nations and the brothers. This can be fuelled by the few allies of Eritrea, or even the allies of Ethiopia, as they both have something to earn. Both none of the parties will really win, as they both will lose citizens and lose peaceful development through diplomacy and mutual understanding. Instead there is a continued bloodshed in the name of the leadership and the legacy of the Eritrean state and also the Ethiopian leadership. Peace.