When the past becomes the present!
A brief account of an eighty-year history of Eritrean resilience and unremitting Western conspiracy !
Eritreans had put up a sustained resistance against Italian race based discrimination, land expropriation and failed attempts at religious conversion. They foiled British strategy to destroy Eritrea both as a nation and state and relentless US diplomatic conspiracy to deprive them of their well-deserved right to self-determination. When all peaceful means of resistance were exhausted they resorted to armed struggle in September of 1961 against successive Ethiopian regimes that were and continue to be the beneficiaries of consistent financial and diplomatic and military support by the West (1953-1975) and the Soviet led communist nations (1975-1991).
Such intrigues, however, did not break the indomitable Eritrean spirit as Eritreans persevered in their struggle for self- determination with stronger conviction and determination.
The formation of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front in 1970 had gradually taken the independence movement to an unprecedented political, social and military heights. Furthermore, it instilled, through persistent political education, a sophisticated and effective organizational capacity among the population (Doyle, 1996). For example, the EPLF practiced high ethical standards during challenging times and displayed magnanimity in victory. Although it was not signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), it afforded the Ethiopian POWs humane treatment and provided them with basic literacy and medical services. It is noteworthy that these soldiers and officers had committed crimes against humanity by killing innocent Eritrean civilians. It guided its members, both home and in the diaspora, to hold regular meetings and reach a consensus on political, social and policy matters through critical and democratic discussions. It inculcated self-reliance and resilience among the entire spectrum of the population as clearly demonstrated both during the struggle for independence and the critical task of national re-construction. It promoted collective responsibility with regards to the promotion and practice of family and community needs.
So, one can argue that the individual and collective adoption of such values and their practice during the protracted and bitter struggle for independence and defense of territorial integrity played a critical role in forging and maintaning a collective supra-religious and supra-ethno-linguistic national identity (Doyle, 2006; Garcetti, 1999). Doyle further states that Eritrea was conceived by accident but born by design (2006). With regards to the former, one can surmise she is referring to the important role that historical and subsequent political events played to the gradual creation of a political entity deserving the right to self-determination. However, the creation of a cohesive nation-state was by no means an accident. A protracted national movement guided by a dedicated, disciplined, principled group of women and men with strong organizational capacity and a clear political, military, social and cultural vision was and continues to be a sine qua non. It is worth noting that many developed and developing countries are yet to fully achieve this level of collective and transcendent national consciousness (Chua, 2018; Garcetti, 1999). The current conspiracy of the West and struggle of the Eritrean people against it have to be, therefore, conceptualized and analyzed within the historical and political contexts described above.
Needless to say, for the West this has clearly become a case of unfinished business. For the present day equivalents of Longrigg, Stafford, Dulles and Spencer like Susan Rice, Jenday Frazer, James Bevan, Chris Mullen, their NGO and Mainstream Media sycophants namely Alex De Waal, Martin Plaut and Kjetil Tronvoll the existence of a viable Eritrean nation-state has been a hard pill to swallow. They have left no stone unturned to wreak havoc on the Eritrean population and destabilize the Government of Eritrea. To disguise their nefarious activities with a façade of legality they conspired, in complicity with their client state in Ethiopia, to level patently false accusations against the State and people of Eritrea at the United Nations Security Council. Consistent with their past anti-Eritrea diplomatic activities, US administrations played an active and prominent role in the design and passage of unfair and illegal UNSC resolutions in 2009 and 2011. Having continually failed to provide any concrete evidence to prove their politically motivated allegations, they concocted a sinister parallel plan. Bent on humiliating the Government of Eritrea diplomatically and further isolate it from the international community, they launched a bizarre accusation of human rights violations against its own population. Despite the blatant flaws concerning the conduct and the content of the Special Rapporteur’s reports, the West conspired to heighten the charge to crimes against humanity and created a Commission of Inquiry (COI). In total disregard for ethical norms, the SR for Eritrea was appointed as a member of the Commission in order to influence the conduct and outcome of the COI report.
The duplicity of the West with regards to human rights violations and the supremacy of the law is shameful. It failed to express even an iota of protest as the international community witnessed the murderous TPLF regime illegally expel 70,000 Eritreans women, children and the elderly and Ethiopians of Eritrean descent; expropriate their hard earned material and financial resources; and desecrate a martyr’s cemetery, a symbol of Eritrean resistance, sacrifice and resilience. Similarly, the West’s inaction was remarkable when the human rights of the entire Eritrean population were violated because of Ethiopia’s refusal to honor its obligation to the final and binding decision of the Eritrean Ethiopian Border Commission (EEBC). In fact, the British, as in the past, tried to appease and, thereby, embolden the Ethiopian regime to defy the international community. For instance, James Bevan, the British Director for Africa, stated that he would not “shoot Ethiopia on the head” for not accepting the decision of the EEBC. Similarly, Chris Mullen, the British Minister for Africa, coined the phrase “accepting in principle” to help the regime in Ethiopia hoodwink the international community (AGE, 2010).
The main objective of this article is not to delve deeply into the protracted and complex history of resistance the Eritrean put up against European colonialism and its intrigues to eradicate Eritrea as a nation-state. There is an abundant number of Eritrean and non- Eritrean historians who have shouldered that solemn responsibility with eloquence and authenticity. Its modest objective is to highlight and expose a long and consistent Western inspired anti-Eritrea conspiracy spanning more than three quarters of a century. The long overdue lifting of the illegal and politically motivated sanctions is definitely a positive step. However, one hopes that, finally, the West has come to grips with the fact that Eritrea, through a long and painful struggle, has now achieved its long sought and well-deserved nation-state status. Despite Western intrigues and unsolicited interventions, the Government of Eritrea (GOE) has demonstrated an inimitable integrity and utilized its vast knowledge and experience in regional and international diplomatic affairs to play its role in forging a strategic and sustainable alliance among the nations of the HOA.
In the aftermath of Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Dr Abbiy Ahmed, bold and historic declaration that the Government of Ethiopia would unconditionally accept the EEBE’s final and binding decision, a new sense of hope towards a peaceful co-existence through an economic and diplomatic cooperation between the two peoples has been ushered in. Dr Abbiy should also be commended and supported for his indefatigable effort to bring about political stability, social harmony and economic prosperity to the Ethiopian people. Concerted and relentless international diplomatic schemes, vicious media attacks and dissemination of woefully flawed and patently false NGO reports are meant to undermine the spirit of collaboration forged by the two nations and tarnish the reputation the Eritrean government. If the Biden administration professes to promote and defend international political and social stability, it should cease and desist from trying to resuscitate an organization that has been designated terrorist by the Ethiopian government. Gradually as the malicious diversionary tactics and lies are exposed and unbiased and objective reports are produced the unravelling of the international political concoctions becomes inevitable. The status quo in the HOA is the product of immense sacrifice, resilience and perseverance on the part of the peoples and governments over a protracted period of time. So, it is reasonable to expect that they will do whatever it takes to protect it.
Action Group for Eritrea –AGE-(2010). Mutilating Eritrea along its lines of cleavage: An Unfinished Business
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Chua, A. (2018). Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations. Bloomsbury,
Garcetti, E. (1999). Civic and Ethnic Allegiances: Competing Visions of Nationalist Discourse in the Horn of Africa. Paper presented at the International Studies Association
Hoyle, P (1996). The Eritrean National Identity: A Case Study. The author is an International boundary lawyer
With Le Boeuf, Lamb, Greene and MacRae in Washington D.C. She served as an Adjunct Professor in Geography and Law at the University of Asmara during 1996.
Pateman, R (1998). Eritrea: Even the Stones Are Burning. The Red Sea Press, Inc
Tesfay Aradom, PhD
May 14, 2021