IGAD lnternal Memo: “Re: IGAD Special Mission to Somalia” (13.09.2017)
I write what I like.
Number of people needing humanitarian assistance on the rise.
ROME, Italy, July 14, 2017 – Poor rains across East Africa have worsened hunger and left crops scorched, pastures dry and thousands of livestock dead – according to an alert released today by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The most affected areas, which received less than half of their normal seasonal rainfall, are central and southern Somalia, southeastern Ethiopia, northern and eastern Kenya, northern Tanzania and northeastern and southwestern Uganda.
The alert issued by FAO’s Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS) warns that the third consecutive failed rainy season has seriously eroded families’ resilience, and urgent and effective livelihood support is required.
“This is the third season in a row that families have had to endure failed rains – they are simply running out of ways to cope,” said FAO’s Director of Emergencies Dominique Burgeon. “Support is needed now before the situation rapidly deteriorates further.”
Increasing humanitarian need
The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in the five aforementioned countries, currently estimated at about 16 million, has increased by about 30 percent since late 2016. In Somalia, almost half of the total population is food insecure. Timely humanitarian assistance has averted famine so far but must be sustained. Conditions across the region are expected to further deteriorate in the coming months with the onset of the dry season and an anticipated early start of the lean season.
The food security situation for pastoralists is of particular concern, in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, where animal mortality rates are high and milk production from the surviving animals has declined sharply with negative consequences on food security and nutrition.
“When we know how critical milk is for the healthy development of children aged under five, and the irreversible damage its lack can create, it is evident that supporting pastoralists going through this drought is essential,” said Burgeon.
Livestock prices have plummeted because of poor animal body conditions and this, coupled with soaring cereal prices, has severely constrained pastoralists’ access to food. Rangeland and livestock conditions are expected to further deteriorate at least until the next rainy season starts in October.
Poor crop prospects
In several cropping areas across the region, poor rains have caused sharp reductions in planting, and wilting of crops currently being harvested. Despite some late rainfall in May, damage to crops is irreversible.
In addition, fall armyworm, which has caused extensive damage to maize crops in southern Africa, has spread to the east and has worsened the situation. In Kenya, the pest has so far affected about 200 000 hectares of crops, and in Uganda more than half the country’s 111 districts are affected.
In Somalia there are unfavourable prospects for this year’s main gu crops, after the gu rains were late with poor rainfall and erratic distribution over most areas of the country. In the Lower Shabelle region, the main maize producing area, seasonal rainfall was about 50 percent below- average and drought conditions are currently affecting up to 85 percent of the cropland.
In Ethiopia, unfavourable belg rains in southern cropping areas are likely to result in localized cereal production shortfalls. Drought is also affecting yields in Kenya’s central, southeastern and coastal areas. In Tanzania, unfavourable rains are likely to result in localized cereal production shortfalls in northern and central areas, while in Uganda there are unfavourable production prospects are unfavourable for first season crops in the southwestern and northern districts.
Cereal prices are surging, driven by reduced supplies and concerns over the performance of current-season crops. Prices in May were at record to near-record levels in most markets and up to double their year-earlier levels.
Mogadishu – Wednesday, 22 February 2016 – The following joint declaration was made in Mogadishu by H.E. Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti, H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, and H.E. Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia.
1. We have come together as the heads of government of four countries in a region facing significant stress as a result of the current drought. Multiple seasons of failed rains and global weather patterns have, yet again, negatively affected the resilience mechanisms of millions of our people. This is evident in the immediate humanitarian crisis facing us today and will show up in longer term socio-economic vulnerability in communities that today are selling all their assets and uprooting their families for survival.
2. This situation, which may worsen in Somalia and result in a renewed famine over the coming months, could also have security and political implications in our region and beyond, as coping mechanisms are eroded and tensions over dwindling resources risks sparking conflict. Scores of people are moving both within countries and across borders in the hope of increasing their chances of survival. This upheaval is taking a particularly heavy toll on children and women, and makes people vulnerable to exploitation, human rights abuses and to criminal and terrorist networks. Drought-related disease outbreaks and inter-communal conflict are already on the rise.
3. While each of our governments is mobilising to respond, the dire situation calls for international collaboration and regional partnership between governments, civil society, aid organisations, business and international donors.
4. We commit ourselves to regional cooperation to facilitate a more comprehensive response and strong partnership.
5. We commit to strengthening our cross-border collaboration and our efforts to establish security and stability in Somalia to ensure an effective response to the drought and to enable further progress in peace building and state building in Somalia. We further commit to the provision of appropriate protection and assistance to those compelled to leave their areas of origin as a consequence of the drought, including those who have fled to neighbouring countries.
6. We will be consulting on a regular basis to review progress on these issues, and to agree upon any necessary collective action that will help our countries and region respond to this emergency. Furthermore, we have instructed our respective foreign ministers and drought response teams to work together and keep us briefed.
7. In the longer term, we commit to working together bilaterally and through existing regional bodies such as IGAD, the African Union as well as the United Nations to address the underlying structural issues that commonly affect our economies, environments and communities, including cross-border rangeland and water resource management.
“In pastoral areas of Kenya, Somalia and southeastern Ethiopia, the widespread drought had a severe impact on pasture and water availability, and prices of livestock sharply decreased in recent months to very low levels, as livestock body conditions dramatically deteriorated. In these areas, the resulting sharp decline of terms of trade for pastoralists is severely constraining food access for large numbers of households” (FAO, P: 10, 2017).
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has this month released a report that assessed the prices and the issues concerning food prices in the nations around the world. This is the droughts, lack of rain and the problems occurring after the El Nino that hit the African continent. Therefore, the sad reality with the influx of issues and variables, the food markets in different nations has hit a snag and they have gone up. At levels that are worrying, as the markets they haven’t had the same rise in added income compared to the prices of staple foods. This hits the poorest the most and gives them a harder day to day, as their added prices makes the cost of living even more turbulent and hazardous than it already is.
Like the Maize and Beans prices in Kenya:
“Maize prices increased in January by 9-14 percent in most monitored markets, as the output of the short rains harvest, currently underway in eastern and coastal lowlands, was sharply reduced due to insufficient rainfall. Prices of maize in January were 20-30 percent higher than 12 months earlier in several markets, also as a result of a below-average long rains harvest, recently completed in high potential western areas of the Rift Valley. Sustained imports from neighbouring Uganda contained the increased in maize prices. In drought affected coastal counties, sharper year-on-year price increases are recorded, and in December 2016 prices of maize in Kwale, Kilifi, Lamu, Taraka Nithi and Embu counties were up to 40 percent higher than a year earlier. Prices of beans are also at high levels and in January they were up to 40 percent higher than their year-earlier levels. Most pastoral areas were affected by drought, and prices of livestock declined in recent months as animal body conditions deteriorated. For instance, in Marsabit, Mandera, Garissa and Tana River counties, prices of goats in December 2016 were 15-30 percent lower than 12 months earlier” (FAO, P: 3, 2017).
That the prices of maize had added about 20-30 percent in a year time is worrying for the region, as the Kenyan market and the current state before the elections. The Kenyan state is borrowing at a steady haste for bigger infrastructure investments, but isn’t using funds to secure the agricultural output. This is lacking initiative or use of government subsidises to secure enough production, as much as there are droughts that has hit areas, where the prices has risen as a cause of lacking output or none as the climate has deteriorating the soil. That not only Maize has risen on higher prices, also the hiking of prices of beans shows the incapacity of agricultural output in general and also securing cheap government imports.
Like the prices of Maize and Sorghum in Somalia:
“Prices of locally-produced maize and sorghum continued to soar in January as the output of the 2016/17 secondary deyr harvest was affected by a severe drought and is estimated at 25 percent of last five-year average. In Mogadishu, prices of coarse grains increased up to 35 percent. In most markets of key maize producing region of Lower Shabelle, maize prices surged in January by 32-41 percent. Overall, prices of coarse grains in January in key markets of central and southern Somalia were up to twice their levels of 12 months earlier. Prices are likely to further escalate in the coming months, as an earlier than usual stock depletion will be compounded by concerns over the performance of the 2017 gu harvest. In pastoral areas, drought caused shortages of grazing resources, with deterioration of livestock body conditions. Livestock prices sharply declined in recent months, especially in the south, and are at very low levels, up to 60 percent lower than 12 months earlier. As a result of declining livestock prices and increasing cereal prices, terms of trade for pastoralists sharply deteriorated over the last 12 months. The equivalent in maize of a medium size goat declined in Buale market from 114 kg January 2016 to just 30 kg in January 2017. The severe drought has also caused a sharp decline in milk production and surge in milk prices” (FAO, P: 5, 2017).
So Somalia who has just gone through an election, has had a heavy affected by the drought, as the grains and food production has been hit by it. As proven with the rising food prices in Mogadishu and the prices has doubled in Central and Southern Somalia, in only a year! That proves the dire food situation, as the fierce internal fighting, the federation food production combined with the military fighting together with a drought has the food markets and food productions. Therefore the citizens and farmers are the losers, as they cannot have peaceful production, lacking rains and also insecurity of their own safety. All these things combined with the uncertainty of the electorate and the new administration. The steady rise of food prices has surely hit a population that did not need another crisis.
Rising prices in South Sudan:
“In the capital, Juba, prices of sorghum and maize declined in January by 6 and 10 percent, respectively, partly as a result of the harvesting of 2016 second season crops in southern bi-modal rainfall areas, which improved the domestic supply situation. Prices of other staples, wheat flour, cassava and groundnuts, followed similar patterns. In markets located in central and northern uni-modal rainfall areas, prices of sorghum increased by 15-20 percent in December 2016 and January 2017, after having declined in previous months with the harvesting of 2016 crops. In January, food prices in nominal terms were between 2 and 4 times above their levels in January last year, due to insecurity, a tight supply situation, hyperinflation and a significant depreciation of the local currency” (FAO, P: 5, 2017).
In South Sudan the new crisis of internal battles hit, even after the long term peace-agreement was fresh and the battles that started in July 2016. The continued escalation has hit the country. South Sudan administration has been busy fighting the SPLM-IO. The SPLM-IO has also been busier fighting the SPLA/M. Therefore the engagement with trying to get people to live in peace and fresh produce to happen in the country has stopped. That together with the civil war the agricultural output has been lost with the fleeing civilians and burning villages. Therefore in this current state, the food prices rise as the lacking food stocks of internal produced are dwindling, as the state needs more import of foreign food. Not only the inflation rates of the currency, the food production has been unstable. Therefore the rising prices and the armed situation create the rise of food prices. So the stability of the nation will also secure the currency and also the agricultural output, as of now is more or less in need of food aid because of the current in-fighting and lack of government oversight. This is unhealthy and makes even the security of food into a limbo.
Rising prices of Maize in Uganda:
“Prices of maize followed a sustained upward trend in recent months, increasing in all monitored markets by 33-58 percent between August and December 2016. Subsequently, prices followed mixed trends in January, declining in the capital, Kampala, as the second season harvest increased supplies, remaining firm in Lira market, located in a major cereal producing area, and continuing to increase in Busia, a key cross-border hub with Kenya. Overall, maize prices in January were up to 75 percent higher than a year earlier and at near-record to record levels, as the upward pressure exerted on prices by a reduced second season harvest, affected by poor rainfall in southeastern parts bordering lake Victoria, was compounded by a reduced first season harvest gathered last June/July and by sustained export demand from neighbouring countries, mainly Kenya and South Sudan. In Kampala, prices of beans and cassava flour, important staples, are also at high levels, and in January they were about 25 percent higher than 12 months earlier” (FAO, P: 6, 2017).
Ugandan government has already showed lacking instruments to the current drought and the lesser output during the election and campaigning of the current leadership. This is proven now with the monetary issues that are in dire straight in republic. The proof of the rising prices as the export of maize and others to South Sudan, as the added refugees who also needs foods and are also supported aided food. The government needs to secure added food production and development of bigger yields of the staple foods. That the food prices have sky-rocketed as the region has all been hit in corridors and districts where the dried lands have killed of livestock and others. Government has showed lacking oversight and mechanism from the government has not helped the dry-lands and the aftermath. Because of this with the added strains of a cash-strapped government after a heavy-burden state after elections, has not stagnated or had initiatives to stop the growing prices of food.
Maize prices are rising also in Tanzania:
“Prices of maize continued to increase in January in all monitored markets, as production prospects for the vuli harvest, currently underway in northern and eastern bi-modal rainfall areas, are unfavourable due to poor and erratic rainfall. Further support to prices was provided by concerns over the performance of the msimu harvest, to be gathered from May in central and southern uni-modal rainfall areas, as early-season dryness affected planting operations and crop establishment. Prices of maize in January were almost twice their year-earlier levels in Arusha, located in the northeast, while they were about 25 percent higher than in January 2016 in Dar Es Salaam, the largest urban centre” (FAO, P: 6, 2017).
That President Magufuli and his party like to be the example of the East Africa. Here the Tanzanian government are delivering the same sort of levels of rising prices. The maize prices are affected by drought and the Tanzanian government also have had to take in the refugees from other nations of late. This together with the less rainfall has pushed the prices on maize in Tanzania. Certainly the prices that doubled shows signs of lacking agricultural output and less yields as the rains and drought has happen during the last 12 month.
The numbers of rising food prices together with the lacking yields shows the worrying signs of lesser rain and longer dry seasons. This all hurt the citizens and the customers in the central regions or in urban areas who buys the foods from the agricultural districts, as much as the violence and the crisis in South Sudan and long term effects of the civil war in Somalia. This happens after the drought and other political issues, together with little efforts to add the yields, shows in the rising prices of staple foods. So now the people have to pay more for the same food they would have bought last year, in some places not only 20% added, but up to double or tripled. This is certainly added strains on the personal economy of the citizens in these nations. Peace.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) – ‘Food Price Monitoring and Analysis – Bulletin’ (14.02.2017)
Just as the news of Nespresso suspending their imports of coffee from South Sudan, the South Sudanese Authorities are saying that they need to cut in the Health Care budget for next year. This is happening as the possibility for a peace between the fractions becomes smaller and the window is closing. Because the SPLM/A-IO of Dr. Riek Machar has fewer friends as the Ethiopian, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya or Uganda does not want to host the Rebels.
While the news awhile back we’re that Dr. Riek Machar and his close allies we’re taken through DRC and on the Congolese soil with help of MONUSCO and the United Nation Peacekeepers sent him after fleeing Juba. This happens as the violence between SPLM/A-IO and SPLM/A, the Government party that are led by President Salva Mayardit Kiir and new First Vice-President Gen. Taban Deng Gai who has been part of SPLM/A-IO and we’re even a close ally of Dr. Lam Akol back-in-the-day when there where rifts between Gen. John Garang and Dr. Riek Machar.
Machar shows the history of rebellion towards the leadership around him, as he wants to be leader of all leaders and run it; something he seems to think he is entitled too. That is my opinion, when he even tried in early 1990s to overcome the liberation hero Dr. John Garang de Maribor. That President Kiir has taken oven for and got now the same accusation from the SPLM/A-IO as Garang got from SPLM-Nasir in the 1990s; strange how the past gets recycled in the present?
Just reported from the DRC:
“Riek Machar’s militia are not welcome in northern Democratic Republic of Congo where locals say they are a security risk. DRC’s government, after protests from the locals, has asked the UN mission in the country, MONUSCO, to move the 750 militiamen. The Congolese government has asked the UN to remove them by October the 10th. Last week, local officials wrote to the government in the capital Kinshasa warning that the South Sudanese militia are a security risk in the area” (The National Courier, 04.10.2016).
As written the Congolese Authorities are not welcoming Machar’s rebels and for certain the MONUSCO, blue helmets are moving rebels from one area to the next as they are seen as threat in DRC, but okay to have in Khartoum. Even as Sudan has said they won’t really cater to him either they are still letting him be there after the MONUSCO left him there earlier in the is calendar year.
On the Coffee Export:
“The Governor of Yei River State David Lokonga Moses says his state has lost investment and development opportunities due to the presence of insecurity in the state” (…) ““The prevailing insecurity in the state has hampered the use of these tractors and other plans for this sector. In a related development, the USAID has earmarked a grant of 3.5 million US dollars through the National Government to promote coffee growing in Yei River state. Only that we have been interrupted by this insecurity. All this efforts will strengthen the economy of the state. We are really by far being eyed by the international community to be given support for development.” (…) “Notice of Correction: An earlier version of this story emphasized that USAID had given millions for coffee development in Yei River State. This was based on a remark by Governor Lokonga taken out of context. He was in fact stressing that insecurity in the state has resulted in a loss of investment and development opportunities” (Radio Tamazuj, 03.10.2016).
As the Nespresso suspends the operations in South Sudan, the USAID coffee growing project have been also interrupted by the insecurity of the state. Yei River and Yei have been in the cross-fire and surely makes farming impossible.
More on trouble in Yei:
“Jacob Aligo Lo-Lado, MP and Minister of Local Government in Yei River State has admitted that roughly 100,000 people trapped in the town amid increasing insecurity in the area as reported by the UN refugee agency last week” (…) “Aligo told Radio Tamazuj yesterday that Yei residents fled their homes following fighting in July, but they returned after the security situation was restored in the area. He pointed out that the locals are currently experiencing shortages of food and basic services due to the closure of roads” (Radio Tamazuj, 04.10.2016).
Here you see the more troubles in Yei, as there been reported that SPLM/A-IO had taken over the area and the fighting between SPLA and rebels have continued since July as the reports we’re then that SPLM/A-IO closed the roads towards Uganda. Because the Machar rebels fears the support of UPDF that has helped President Kiir in the past.
Shooting Police Officers:
“Police spokesman Justin Daniel said that a group of attackers assaulted the police post at Nyelo Sunday before fleeing the scene of attack to Nelo village, where they purportedly shot dead a village chief. “The general security situation is under control except some isolated incidents by some people trying to cause havoc and to cause panic to the citizens but our police personnel are there. The incident of Nyelo is being investigated and as police, we condemn and treat it as a barbaric and terrorists act. There is no justifiable cause to kill some people trying to secure the safety of the road for travelers. We are also told that the same attackers after fleeing the scene of the crime went and killed an innocent village chief at Nelo”, police spokesman said in a statement broadcast also by South Sudan broadcasting corporation” (Radio Tamazuj, 04.10.2016).
This is incidents happening on the road between Juba – Nimule road, as the village is on road. Therefore the Police Command and Police Post is on an important roads as it led to the capital and the proof of occurring violence as a reaction to another act that involve the Village chief of Nelo killed. This might be a “small act”, but significant in the matter of who it concerns and the extent of killings happening.
In Morobo and Kaya:
“The SPLA says Morobo and Kaya have never been under the control of the militias as they have claimed for the last few days. The SPLA spokesman says the militias have been celebrating fictitious victory won from Nairobi hotels on the social media” (The National Courier, 04.10.2016).
This is the official reports and what is the honest truth is hard to say, but if there we’re battles its not likely that the SPLA will concede defeat, either does the SPLM/A-IO as they want to be ahead of SPLA/M in the matter of territory. Even as they need shuttles to get out of foreign territory as they don’t want their 750 rifles and personnel away from Congolese Soil. Together with the establishment of the rebel outfit of National Democratic Movement of Dr. Lam Akol who has been a sworn ally of Dr. Riek Machar; proves that the rebels and opposition is not as solid following the instruction and leadership of Machar as they once did.
Killings in Unity:
“James Yuaj, spokesperson for the SPLM-IO in South Sudan’s Unity State on Monday accused government forces of opening fire on civilians killing three people and injuring four other including two women. Speaking to Radio Tamazuj, Yuaj accused government forces of being behind the attack in Adok area” (Radio Tamazuj, 04.10.2016).
So here we can also see that there been killings in another state, this in Unity as the proves of the state of affairs and fragile instability of the government versus the rebels who know has a plan to use arms to move and get rid of the SPLM/A as they want to install the SPLM/A-IO, but they have also the NDM who has their powers. Together with the rebels in Darfur who are the SPLM-N who also fights and could also prove their flexibility and pour into the states on the border.
This here crisis is far from over, the South Sudan leaders are more used to their guns and ammunition instead of dialogue; it is ironic that Dr. Lam Akol that are grabbing guns and arming people as he was blaming Dr. John Garang de Maribor for his wishes to use military option over dialogue to deal with the SPLM/A-Nasir of the 1990s. People tend to forget that part too. But that is two decades ago and think Dr. Lam Akol forgotten himself and how he defended dialogue during that time; now he grabs the guns as well!
Well, this is enough for now, depressing enough. Peace.
While the Government Spokesman of Ethiopia Getachew Reda have claimed that the first shot on the border came from Eritrean forces and claimed they we’re at fault for the military operations on the 12th June 2016. This happens while the Eritrean Ministry of Foreign Affairs claim it was the TLPF that was attacking the Eritrean border forces around the Tsorona Front.
With this in mind, it is not easy when these are sending conflicting information and also using all tactics to address each other internal misgivings. Just like the recent Human Rights Violation in the United Nations Reports from the Group of Experts in June 2016. While the Eritrean are claiming the internal oppression of the Omoro people and the killing of demonstrators; also silencing of media; the issue is that both nations have their blames and violations. The Ethiopian ruling party has total control and military control of the nation, the media is controlled and bloggers are detained for questioning the government, the Omoro demonstrations are hunted down and shut down with military forces. So the Ethiopian Government is far from innocent in their internal bravery.
But the Eritrean are nicknamed the “African North Korea” for a reason, all control is in the hands of the President Isias Afewerki, as the UN reports claim is that there is unlimited subscription to the army, slavery, rape and misuse of the citizens from the government officials, as the centralized power is all in the name of the president as he has control of the economy as the national budget is never released and the control of the money running of Eritrea as all under control of Afeweki. UN Report 2016 Eritrea this blog or article explains the matters of how I see on the report on the Human Rights Violations.
With all of this in mind, with the knowledge of the current affairs, and the escalation and worry of new conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea, as the fellow nations has been in war before. Eritreans are the ones really blasting Ethiopia in international media and defending their ways of government, as they are blaming Ethiopia even for making the accusations that are made by the experts in the recent report. That proves the level of animosity from Eritrean government towards Addis Ababa, as they might feel left alone in Asmara.
While the Ethiopian in the 12 June military operations claimed the aggression was directed from the Eritreans. After that the Eritreans claimed it was the Ethiopians… so there are a limbo and uncertainty, especially since none of these governments are really open to the media or having press freedom in either nation; while the assurance of the reality on the ground and the intelligence is unsure as they both are secretive from the beginning.
None of these nations are perfect, no nation in this world is, but both nations have scruples and has issues with tampering with human rights violations of different levels, they both have different supporters and allies that need the armies or alliances to mend on other issues either on the African Horn, like the Ethiopian who has soldiers in the AMISOM and other Peacekeeping missions and are an ally of the United States and their AFCON, surely as they pulled more armies from Africa after the failed “Black Hawk Down” in Mogadishu and with that in mind then President Bill Clinton pulled the army of around 1100 soldiers in 1993 from the Horn of Africa. And have been for long a steady military ally against terrorism in the region and also a place where the Americans have had military bases, as recently closed the United States Air Force base at Arba Minch in January 2016.
The certainty and clarity is not here in this matter, as there are many undisclosed reports, as the battlefield are kept for the armies and the media are not free in neither Ethiopia or Eritrea, as the stages are set for propaganda from both parties, as the ones who are speaking free on their blogs in for instance in Ethiopia ends behind bars. While the Eritrean are the best news from diaspora who have trusted messengers through online forums, as the silence and fear of detaining or slavery work for questioning the regime, therefore the amount of people going into exile from Eritrea.
So with this knowledge the battle of 12th June 2016 can only be discussed and knowingly gain the needed intelligence when the men on the ground can speak freely and address thoroughly. If not they are realizing footage or pictures of the activity, while also proving the validity of the battlefield. As there will always from a warzone and skirmishes even be false statements, even wrong estimates and the reality will come closer, if not juked to fix the stages for either Eritrea or Ethiopia, as both need a straight face towards their citizens and their international allies and community. As there reports of UAE and Yemen supporting the Eritrea, while Western nations as United States and others are supporting Ethiopia; but that is in general and their obligations world-wide and in military operations, as IGAD and others.
Therefore I cannot say who did what, as the implications of who did what is not certain. The Eritreans are the ones that beating the drum the most in international media, as they want to silence the UN report on Human Rights Violations. While the Ethiopian is easily getting the world to forget the violations against the Omoro demonstrations and Omoro Liberation Front (OLF); with these in mind, these skirmish or military operations just happen when the Eritreans wanted the world to forget the slavery and other accusations and the same with the killings of demonstrators from the Ethiopian regime. What we will not certainly know as these are actions and activity, kept behind sound minds in the central governments in authoritarian regimes who are militarized and not democratic. So the knowledge we will get is indications, but not the actual facts, as the numbers will be spoilt to make Ethiopia or Eritrea bad, the rhetoric will clearly defacing the other by all means. Though the response have been the clearest from Eritrea and accusations the loudest, that does not make it true, if it was so, then the screaming Donald Trump would be wisest politician ever; Ethiopia have another approach and more subtle, though countering the Eritrean, as they also claimed was the reason for the 12th June 2016 skirmishes.
That there been rumors of a plot of taking down President Isias Afeweki of Eritrea, nothing is yet certain about that either, as the “rumored plot” have come in the waters from a unnamed source inside the military intelligence of the Ethiopian hierarchy, and for the moment it is hearsay, but the Eritrean are paranoid; so they do what they can to sell it to the world and those stories are better to sell then slavery and unlimited military subscription of their youth and citizens.
So what I said with many words, nothing is clear, there aren’t enough transparency or accountability to take a true stance, the only thing certain, is that there are taken some shots and that the armies did attack each other, too what extent is not easy to say; as the spokesmen and ambassadors are not talking about that, I am sure that is confidential at both parties. What is surely the fact is that there are fallen men and reported men taken by both armies. That Eritrea has taken Ethiopian men’s life and Ethiopian has taken Eritrean men’s life. Peace.
The Whole Interview:
Worth a watch right? Interesting, right? Peace.
“Eritrea’s Ambassador to the UN has told RFI that Ethiopia was responsible for attacking first in heavy fighting earlier this week. Ethiopia had previously said their forces were responding to an attack by Eritrea around the Tsorana area. Tanks and heavy artillery were involved – although fighting has now subsided. RFI’s Daniel Finnan spoke to Girma Asmerom, Eritrea’s Ambassador to the UN…” (RFI English, 2016)
“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.