Threat or delusion?

Threat or delusion?

Ever since the Eritrean people’s heroic struggle for independence triumphantly came to an end and Eritrea won its independence on 24 may 1991, some nostalgic element who do not understand the Eritrean people ’s struggle or the secret of their victory have continued to live in denial and delusion. Some of those who have never accepted the Eritrean independence are heard here and there repeating some unfounded arguments about Ethiopia’s right to have access to sea. Among these are some who go as far as calling on Ethiopia to “take back” the Eritrean port of Assab through “legal and peaceful”. One wonders what these “legal and peaceful” are and whether they mean that a sovereign country may enter into negotiations with another country eventually surrendering parts of its sovereign territories to the other country. We can only assume such rhetoric is for internal political consumption at best and emanates from ignorance at worst. 

Eritrea been a country that won its independence not through negotiation but through a triumphant armed struggle during which tens of thousands sacrificed their lives, many more were permanently disabled and hundreds of thousands were displaced, Eritreans who are generally tolerant and consider such occasional outbursts as a mere nostalgia have constantly been calling for peaceful coexistence between the peoples of the two countries who share not only borders and history but also common interest in maintaining regional peace, stability and cooperation.

There are also some who occasionally appear on media while calling on Ethiopia to use military force and occupy the Eritrean ports of Assab and Massawa. Regardless of whether this is practically possible or not, or if they are likely to yield an outcome that is different from previous failed attempts of subjugation, such threats are show a clear violation disrespect of the international law as well as the failure of learning from history.

The latest or rather the worst of these is a certain journalist by the name of Tamrat Negera who crossed the red line and went beyond everything we have so far heard from certain delusional elements. This is during an interview with an Ethiopian local media outlet known as the Sheger Media. He was heard saying that Eritrea should neither be allowed to control its own sea nor have diplomatic ties with the rest of the world except through Ethiopia. Basically, Mr. Tamrat’s view is that Eritrea should cease to exist as an independent country. During the same interview, he was also heard saying a lot of nonsense that is not worth repeating here.

Mr. Tamrat’s utter disrespect to the Eritrean people or his violent and aggressive tone aside, the main problem with him is that he claims to be a journalist or so we were told. If it is the case that he is indeed a journalist, then the least that one would expect is that he would have some basic knowledge of international law and that there is a clear line separating an expression of opinion, whatever that opinion is, even a craziest one and openly calling for aggression against another sovereign country to the extent of turning that country into a de-facto prison run by the invading country. It is worth mentioning here that such vulgar language was never used in recent history, not even during the scramble for Africa. Fortunately, this does not represent the views of the vast majority of peace-loving Ethiopians many of who were quick to condemn Mr. Tamrat’s show of hatred towards Eritreans. This is indeed encouraging and must be applauded.

As for us Eritreans, we like to assure Mr. Tamrat and his likes that while we feel extremely offended by such a show of disrespect, we are neither worried by these threats nor would we be derailed from working for the peaceful coexistence of the two peoples and good neighbourliness that is based on mutual respect and common interest. We also believe that nostalgic rhetoric aside, people like Mr. Tamrat know very well that an independent and sovereign Eritrea is here to stay.        

Organization of Unity for Democratic Change (UDC)

04 January 2020

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