Putting the spotlight on defending the sovereignty of Eritrea

Putting the spotlight on defending the sovereignty of Eritrea By PetrosTesfagiorgis First let me congratulate the brotherly/sisterly people of Tigray and their vanguard TPLF for celebrating the 45 years anniversary of the beginning of their armed

Putting the spotlight on defending the sovereignty of Eritrea

By PetrosTesfagiorgis

First let me congratulate the brotherly/sisterly people of Tigray and their vanguard TPLF for celebrating the 45 years anniversary of the beginning of their armed struggle.  The TPLF defeated  the military Junta (the Dergue)  led by of Colonel Mengustu Hailemariam and brought to an ended the Ethiopian feudal Empire that was built on the total power of the Amhara ruling class over other nationalities.  This victory heralded a new era of self-rule and equality to the oppressed nationalities in Ethiopia. Although other liberation movements such as EPRP, OLF, Sidama Liberation Front, the Ogaden National Liberation Front, Hailu Fida’s MEISON and the Eritrean Liberation Front  contributed a lot to the downfall of the Dergue, it was the combined military offensive of EPLF and TPLF that finally defeated the heavily armed regime in Ethiopia.

As I started to write my article I listened to interviews by Haregu Keleta of ERENA with some Eritreans regarding the speech Dr Debrezion gave during the celebration of their 45 years anniversary.  Dr Debrezion expressed, not for the first time, his unreserved welcome to the Eritrean refugees in Tigray. This time he mentioned the Eritrean army saying “this is your home.”    One commentator said this statement is a call to the Eritrean army to surrender. He expressed that the TPLF has an evil design on Eritrea. His narrative can be taken that Tigray is no friend of the people of Eritrea. All these nonsense talk is out of context. The reality on the ground is different. We should not cheat ourselves; members of the Eritreans army do cross the border to Ethiopia and the Sudan as refugees. And to this day they continue to do so. They don’t need Dr Debresion to tell them to come to Ethiopia. It is an insult to their intelligence.  They are just running away from a brutal regime.

We have some Eritreans suffering from a sense of loss and fail to acknowledge the help the Tigreans are rendering to the Eritrean refugees. In their time of darkness they treat them with kindness.  But the show is polluted by bad language against TPLF/Tigray. This remark is unnecessary and is offending   Eritreans living in the border areas with Tigray.  The world has watched when both Eritreans and Tigreans   expressed their joy and happiness as they warmly greet each other when the border was opened after 20 years. Although it was for a short time only, Eritreans have benefitted from buying commodities at a much cheaper price to that in Eritrea. Witnessing this rendezvous the Just seekers in Diaspora who are talking from their comfort zone should realize that the Eritreans living in the border area have much greater stake in peace more than the rest of us. And they will oppose such anti-peace statements. A group of people from Senafe area did that on the social media. In addition peace and friendship between the two neighborly people could be a bridge for peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia in total. In building peace it is the language of peace that must prevail.

On the other hand in the interview there were rational voices such as that of Elen Tesfagiorgis from Yiakle Washington and Temesgen Kahsai – who took the words of Dr Debretzion as genuine.   Temesgen Kahsai is a mature nationalist journalist by any standard and has shown competence in assessing the present situation. On the other hand, it is an advantage for Tigray to be friends with Eritrea. They don’t want to be encircled by PFDJ.  People speculate that the recent visit of Dr Abiy and the Minister of Defense Lemma Megersa to Asmara was about Tigray.  TPLF has become an obstacle to replace the Federal system by Prosperity party the brain child of Dr Abiy Ahmed. It is therefore a question of mutual survival.

Genuine cordial relationship between Sovereign Eritrea and Tigray region of Ethiopia would contribute to the stability of Ethiopia. It is a bridge to   reach to the rest of Ethiopia. (More on part 2).

In this moment in time putting the spotlight on defending the sovereignty of Eritrea is the priority.

As the geopolitics of the horn changes, we Eritreans must move with it harnessing our energies and ways of thinking to ensure the sovereignty of Eritrea. Isaias is working in slow motion to give away Eritrea to Dr Abiy Ahmed’s Ethiopia. The people of Eritrea did not get peace divided. Eritrean prisoners of conscience are not released, indefinite national service, slave labor and other forms of human rights violations continue unabated. On the contrary Isaias and Abiy have become allies in the unholy mission to kill the Eritrean sovereignty and to crash the TPLF. The TPLF is spearheading the fight to defend the federal system.  In his address to the people of Eritrea on 7/02/20 Isaias declared he will support   Dr Abiy in his bid to abolish the federal system? This is a betrayal of the revolution in Ethiopia championed by the Haile Sellasie University progressive students union in Addis Ababa in the end of 60th and early 70th. The revolution was anti-imperialism, anti colonialism and anti-feudalism. Feudalism is the system that perpetuates oppression of nationalities in Ethiopia. This gave rise to the right of self-determination including secession.  That is why Oromo professionals mostly doctors sent strongly worded letter condemning Isaias talk against the Federal System.  Many Ethiopian social media have spoken out against Isaias and also have broken their silence of the gross human rights violations in Eritrea. The outspoken politician Ledetu Ayalew   and Jewar Mohammed – who runs the powerful Oromia Media Network (OMN) that played a leading role in the Oromo youth (Kero) uprising were among many political analysts who condemned Isaias and reminded him to take his hands off TPLF.  Ledetu said unequivocally the case of TPLF is an Ethiopian case and not Eritrea. Isaias is reckless who can go to war easily. For him the life of the people of Eritrea does not matter.

We Eritreans need peace more than any others because it is the lack of peace or the excuse of it that is ruining our country and destroying the fabric of the Eritrean society.  Peace does not come by itself we have to build brick by brick. We should not live in the past. Peace is about forgiveness and reconciliation. However we have to express our kind of peace that honors our sovereignty and protects the wellbeing of the people of Eritrea.  We are becoming too reactive to what has been said about Eritrea by Ethiopians.   We have to be pro-active and put on the table our terms of peace clearly. One of the terms is to honor the sovereignty of Eritrea.  This is the responsibility of organized bodies representing the justice seekers.  In this case professional people or   Think Tank bodies can be assigned to package the terms in a professional way.

In this extremely challenging period we need an ally and it is the TPLF. In spite of the avoidable Ethio-Eritrean destructive war of 1998 and the deportation of thousands of Eritreans from Ethiopia, the TPLF has never doubted the sovereignty of Eritrea.  And we know if Abiy and Isaias managed to defeat the TPLF then the Eritrean sovereignty will be at risk. Tamrat Negara said “we have to thank Isaias for making Eritrea weak” It is easy to invade Eritrea today; you can do it as you brush your teeth”. General Tzadkan said “it is a matter of time before the Port of Assab is owned by Ethiopia”.   This is not a mere wishful thinking, many Ethiopians wanted it badly. However, we have to differentiate between independent individuals and   Government spokespeople.

In conclusion let me express my Congratulations to the Eritrean Women in London celebrating the international women day. It brings back the fighting spirit of women during the long years of armed struggle.   It is profoundly   inspirational and successful. Women are ethically sensitive less likely to be corrupt. Once they rise up they could do wonders they are the nucleus of the Eritrean society.

The End:  Laluta continua.

aseye.asena@gmail.com

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54 COMMENTS
  • Teklemariam March 23, 2020

    In these days of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) , I came across of two articles written by Tesfamariam Kidane on ‘The Woyan duplicity’ and by Petros Tesfaghiorghis on ‘Putting the spotlight on defending the sovereignty of Eritrea’. I think that they are two articles expressing the two opposite prevailing sentiments of the overwhelming majority of Eritrean population on one hand and on the other hand, the die hard elites and media activists of President Isaias Afeworki and his politics of hate. I, as the overwhelming majority of Eritreans, totally agree with What Mr. Pietros says and my point is:
    It is one thing to question about the Woyane leadership recent attitude towards Eritrea and Eritreans (which I think is not new)and it is totally different to try support the argument by going back to the 18th century history of the people of Tigray and the people of Eritrea, which I think is absurd and not to say outrageous. The love- hate relationship between the leadership of Woyane and President Isaias Afeworki has nothing to do with the genuine relationship between the two brotherly people on both sides of the Mereb river neither with their long common history.
    I have no doubt that, in the last two decades, the leadership of Woyane has failed several times the people of Eritrea as much as they did to their own people, the people of Tigray. However, Unlike President Isaias Afeworki and his system , the fact is that the Woyane have admitted their errors and failures and have asked publicly an excuse to their people and vowed to serve and respect their martyrs’ cause. To what extent is the genuineness of such move and how far they might move forward in that direction is still to be seen. Time will tell us. But at least the gesture is good and there are some positive signs : the people of Tigray seem to have given to the leadership the benefit of doubt to their mea culpa and seem to have given them the last chance to prove themselves worthy of their words. Similarly the Eritreans fleeing their beloved country are being given a safe haven by the authorities and are also receiving a warm welcome as brothers and sisters by the ordinary people of Tigray. This is undeniable fact.
    As far as the call by the leadership of Woyane to the people of Eritrea is concerned, I presume that it is not new. It is a call in one way or another, going on from the time of Prime minister Meles Zenawi. I think that the point is that the overwhelming majority of Eritreans are looking for a way out(exit strategy)from the existential threat imposed on them by the regime. Until now no one seems to offer any credible functional strategy. There is a sort of Vacuum to be filled. I presume that the leadership of Woyane has put forward an alternative strategy to fill the vacuum. Let it be said, the strategy works. A glance at the daily exodus of Eritreans of all ages from different parts of Eritrea to Tigray will Suffice to prove effectiveness of that strategy. What is absolutely sure is the fact that as long as the President Isaias and his system remains in power, the mass exodus towards the people of Tigray who welcome them as brothers and sisters will be unstoppable . Although I do not have any doubt that the people of Tigray will continue to welcome their brothers and sisters from the other side the river Mereb, I hope and pray that the authorities (the leadership of Woyane) must not let themselves be duped by the intimidating tactics of Prime minister Abiy and President Isaias to stop welcoming the Eritreans…Otherwise………

    • k.tewolde March 24, 2020

      You remember the nostalgic Eritrean song from decades ago, “ANTA GUHUY LBEI HIJIDO YHISHEKA,BIKKE NIBAA’E DA’A HIJI MSAI KONKA,YEHZINENI YESQORQURENI NEAAY MILKAMKA,………..QEDEM NERU QEEEEDEM NERU KIBRETKA MIHLAW,ANTA HIJIDO YIHAYISH QULQUL AFKA MI’ELAW. >>>>>>> what a clairvoyance!!The lord shredded, beaten up and battered said on the cross,’father forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing’, I pray today,God give me a piece of your forgiving heart looking at the current state of destitution of my people and those who are responsible for it.

      • Wedi Hagher March 24, 2020

        ኣንታ ጉሁይ ልበይ ፥ ሕጂ ዶ ይሕሸካ,
        ብኸ ንባዕ’ዳኣ ፥ ሕጂ ምሳይ ኮይንካ,
        የሕዝነኒ የስቀርቁረኒ ፥ ናዓይ ምልካምካ,
        ….. ቀደም ነይሩ ፥ ቀደም ነይሩ ፥ ክብረትካ ምሕላው ,
        ኣንታ ሕጂዶ ይሓይሽ ፥ ቁልቁል ኣፍካ ምዕላው ?

        It brings back to me painful memories …
        Thank you Brother K. Tewelde

        • k.tewolde March 24, 2020

          Sincerely,thank you for repackaging it beautifully Wedi Hagher,it is one of my favorite songs from the old days.

    • Wedi Hagher March 25, 2020

      Mr. Teklemariam

      When it comes to Eritrea, it’s naïve to think Dr. Abiy and Weyane are following two different policy guidelines. Their disagreements, if any, is about how to put in practice their policy towards Eritrea in a way that better serves Ethiopia.
      Let’s not forget that Ethiopia’s strategic interest is to see a weakened Eritrea.
      They may have problems with Iseyas’ mercurial character but not with what he is doing in Eritrea.
      His methodic destruction of the little nation fits perfectly into their final strategy of putting Eritrea under their control.

      • Petros Tesfagherghis March 25, 2020

        Wedi Hager: That may or may not be. But we must be able to see peace from our own perspective. and let people understand it. Our perspective of peace iis to live with our Ethiopian neighbours in harmony, to trade etc and it is win win. At the same time we have to build our economy and build respected society . We also would be able to have a strong army to defend ourselves from aggression not only from Ethiopia but from any quarter. ….. .

        • Wedi Hagher March 25, 2020

          Dear Brother Petros T.

          I agree with you that we should have our own understanding of what is a genuine peace.
          But Eritrea’s main problems are not its external challenges, it’s because of our internal problems gone out of hand, that now we are being exposed to external dangers.
          So let’s look inwards and tackle our problems standing together shoulder to shoulder.
          We say we want change but we also want to decide for “others”, how is that possible ?. We need to accept the fact that unless we take at heart everybody’s interest and concerns, including other’s right to have a say in their country’s affairs, we will all end up being losers.
          The culture of the “vanguard” organization that kills and maims in the name of Eritrean revolution must be put to rest with its demons.
          A nation is a product of historical compromises.

  • Woldegabriel March 24, 2020

    Selam All,
    Artists and singers reflect their personal emotions to certain events and period. It swings up and down depending on their personal observations, understandings and emotions. This up-and-down phenomenon is also true in life. But people with unshakable political and social principles and convictions are resilient enough not to fall to such up-and-downs. Of course, we Eritreans are going through a very difficult and politically unstable situations but we should never show any sign that may be construed as hopelessness or weakness in our conviction. We shall overcome and win.

  • k.tewolde March 24, 2020

    ‘A glance at the daily exodus of Eritreans of all ages from different parts of Eritrea to Tigray will Suffice to prove effectiveness of that strategy.’ ,Teklemariam draws a plan on the sand to fill the vacuum with woyane in order to save the dire situation of the Eritrean people,>> wait let me adjust my glasses first,how did the Eritrean people ended up in this social and political quandary in the first place? who drew the grand scheme of one playing the dispatcher on one end and a host on the other? it is like beating up your live in girlfriend and sequestering all her possessions and asking her,do you want to leave honey? Tecle what an effective strategy, you have created a conducive environment to fill in the vacuum,go ahead, make my day. >>>> some of us were sounding the alarms a long time ago,however the fad back then was the deceptive charisma behind the well groomed mustache.

  • Woldegabriel March 25, 2020

    Dear Assenna,
    I am perturbed on what’s going on in Assenna. I am a proponent of free speech and individual’s right for opinions. But this right shouldn’t transgress the sovereignty of a nation. Others who believe in “andenet”, ” agazian”,”medemer” etc have numerous forums of higdef, weyane and Ethiopian websites to drum up their views. This is not a plebiscite forum a website that fights for the rights of the Eritrean people and its sovereignty. Why the hell are such people (whoever they are) allowed to tarnish the people’s struggle and spread unabatedly their insidious propaganda. Anywhere in the world, democracy has bounds and so should there be in Assenna.

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