ISAYAS’s LOOSING GAMBLE – BY EZANA SEHAY
There is no question the recent sudden visit of The Eritrean President to Uganda have caught people off guard. For supporters of the dictator the visit was hailed as diplomatic victory. That is not surprising since
There is no question the recent sudden visit of The Eritrean President to Uganda have caught people off guard.
For supporters of the dictator the visit was hailed as diplomatic victory. That is not surprising since this was the first time in the last few years their leader has made a state visit to any country other then Libya, Egypt and Qatar.
For those optimists who viewed the visit as a sign of policy change by the Eritrean regime it was a let down. They were hopping the visit would be a prelude to a wider reconciliation and rapprochement in the region, that Isayas has finally come to his senses. But that wishful thinking would remain just that a wishful thinking.
One consistent characteristic of Isayas is that he never fails to prove his skeptics right. They (the skeptics) were saying that nothing positive will came out of the visit. That it was a publicity stunt, meant to buy time and some friends (fools) to pre-empt the looming UN Security Council vote on extending and strengthening the sanction imposed on his regime.
We don’t know what exactly transpired behind closed doors, but if we have to judge the visit based on the joint press conference of the two leaders, it is quite clear Isayas haven’t changed at all. In fact he sounded more radical and arrogant. to the dismay of many Ugandans, not only did Isayas failed to admit his belligerence, his destabilizing policy, and his support for terrorism, they witnessed their president standing by the man whom previously blamed for the twin bombings in Kampala, in July 2010. Echoing is words and calling him ‘a man of honor’.
Keep in mind that Museveni’s Uganda was instrumental and a prime advocate of stiffer sanctions on Eritrea.
In fact on the eve of the visit, many high levels Uganda government officials made it clear that they expect an apology or at least admission by the Eritrean president about his role in Somalia including support for Al-Shabab which is responsible for the death of tens of Ugandan peace keeping troops in Somalia.
To the contrary the president of Uganda seemed the one apologizing for doubting his “comrade”.
So, the skeptic were right, Isayas’ visit to Uganda was not meant to mend fences or to reconcile, but a tactical ploy to deceive some naives like the president of Uganda and a desperate attempt to influence the security councils debate on his regime.
As the reader is aware of things haven’t been good for the Eritrean tyrant lately.
First – His master (Mubarak of Egypt) is thrown out of power
Second- His beloved brother (Gaddafi) is facing worse fate then Mubarak
Third- Qatar the country which bank rolled his regime is giving him cold shoulder
Fourth- The international community’s talking peace and carrying big stick [sanctions] is having an effect.
Fifth- The Eritrean people are beginning to realize that there is no point in waiting for the regime to reform itself — that it needs to be pushed.
These are the circumstances that forced him to take some hallow measures like applying to rejoin IGAD and visiting Uganda. But such posturing wouldn’t do him any good. The only way out of this quagmire to:
Admit his crimes against the region and rehabilitate himself
Stop making Eritrean a corridor of terrorist organization
Most importantly, redeem the Eritrean people who are suffering as result of his policies.
But I doubt he will ever consider such alternative.
You see, Isayas doesn’t understand the virtues of good will and so like any dictator he has chosen to focus on polishing his existing ego instead of creating a new and congenial one. In fact, It is becoming more clear, he is suffering from the decease that afflicts every dictator i.e., his is becoming delusional.
– Like his soul mate [Kaddafi] he still thinks or lets us believe the people or Eritrea love him. Remember Kaddafi’s …‘my beable love me …‘speech few weeks ago?
-Like Kaddafi, he claims to have a moral superiority over his enemies.
-Like the late Said Bare of Somalia, he has created an army more than the country’s capacity to support it. To find out what effect this policy would have to the country – look at Somalia today.
I hope that won’t happen to Eritrea.
-Isayas resembles the late Sadam Hassien not only in his quest for regional domineer or in his hatred of his neighbor, but in the almost comic divergence between his mathematical theories and his ability to add up numbers as demonstrated by his confrontation al policy.
He may not be wrong about people naturally preferring a strong horse to weak horse: he just doesn’t know much about horses. The proof is: His decade of anti-everybody belligerences has achieved nothing, except the suffering and alienation of the Eritrean people, and He himself being reduced to occasionally in freelance stand ups for few news outlets.
Napoleon once proclaimed that “God is on the side of big battalions” But he challenged nations whose battalions were significantly bigger than his. similarly at the start of the 1998-2000 Ethio – Eritrean war Isayas literally took a phrase out of the book of Nazi moral proposition and said “might is right “The problem was that he was neither might nor right.
But the most telling failure of Isayas is that, he is so obsessed in projecting certain image to the outside world he has forgotten the most important of all — the Eritrean people.
When Eritrea achieved independence there was a sense of national unity of pride in having accomplished some thing unthinkable that one hoped would carry over into the rebuilding and democratization effort. But thanks to Isayas brutality, Eritreans since have been leaving in humiliation with their heads perpetually bowed.
One thing about Eritreans is sure though they can and will raise their heads high again. Besides, they have been brought so low by the degradation of the PFDJ mafia that the only place to go is up. The signs are there, after years of repression and deceit, Eritreans look determined more than ever of discarding this foul legacy. The legacy of depravity, contortion and paranoia.
It looks like this time around Isayas has backed himself in to a corner from which it will be hard to exit.