Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Time to Bring Eritrea in from the Cold (Part III)

Princeton Lyman, most recently President Obama's Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, has added his voice on African Arguments to the issue of bringing Eritrea in from the cold.  His commentary posted on 14 January 2014 is titled "Previous Attempts to 'Bring Eritrea in from the Cold' Have Proved Difficult, But We Should Still Try." 

12 comments:

  1. Unlike Mr Cohen's naive approach to the issue Ambassador Shin seems to have touched the real cause of the problem..At least he seems to acknowledge the fact that there is more of a psychological element to Ethio-Eritrean issue than a technical one..unfortunately no amount of border demarcation or trade rule can solve a psychological war that has been long been persistent between people who take pride in two parallel reasons, one in having been colonized, and the other in beating colonization..
    Perhaps the most sensible phrase I picked from Ambassader Shin's analyses is "time is a healer", in this case given the fact that Eritreans desperately need time to reflect on their past behaviour and see Eritrea for what it is rather than what they have been brainwashed since the time of colonization..Unless they are given more time to appreciate Ethiopia and what it means to their existence, early normalization might mean spoiling the progress that has been evident in some Eritrean psychic..It will be like early releasing 5 million patients from psychiatric ward..

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  2. Thank you Amb. David for putting the trues out and make this ppl understand the background about both country and try to make understand the obama administration they need to admit the mistake and respect the international law (the algers agreement) and move on its that simple. please when ever you can try to push this think to end.

    Thanks

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  3. Mr. Shinn,
    you are a morally bankrupt man to think Ethiopia should succomb to the demands of Eritrea at the prospect of using the port of Assab. We don't intend to use the port unless it is reinstated as a legitimate territory of Ethiopia. The port belongs to Ethiopia.

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    1. Well said brother/sis. As much as I respect the honorable ambassador, I find it offensive when people keep recycling old myth about Eritrea's exaggerated importance to Ethiopia despite the fact Ethiopia has in the las 13 years(since 1998 when Eritrea gained real independence) proved how well it can do without that cursed land..It is even more frustrating when knowledgeable people like Devid Shinn who often advocate fairness and democracy tend to put the interest of 5 million people over the interest of 80 million people...Given the fact that the UN has concluded who the aggressor was and the price Ethiopians paid to deal with the aggressor, it is mind boggling how Mr Cohen and Ambassador Devid thought Ethiopians should bow for the aggressor's demand..it shows the lack of respect they have for the people of Ethiopia or perhaps they just don't care wither their proposal is feasible or not as long as it is convenient for the US strategic interest...Yes Ethiopians want a peaceful coexistence with Eritreans, but by the Ambassador's own admission, we all know that the problem lies with Eritrea's distorted sense of entitlement and Ethiopians say NO to a friendship that favors 5 million people over 80 million..and please refrain from offending us just because we were once seen compromising to Eritrea's demand due to the mess cold war left Ethiopia with..we are dignified people and we will remain so regardless of how the rest of the world see us due to our past misfortunes and the last thing we want is people like David shinn telling us to bow to the demand of a small arrogant entity..

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  4. Ethiopia is not obliged at all to babysit Eritrea. There is no way Ethiopia should pay for Assab and bankroll the Eritrean regime. These guys made an ancient, historic, populous African nation landlocked and now they want us to pay them for the port! Over our dead bodies - you will not get a dime! We will import via Djibouti, Port Sudan, and Kenya. They can use their ports to bath their camels!

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  5. With all due respect Ambassador, How did you reach the conclusion that colonized Eritreans are "more highly educated" than the very people who educated Eritreans? It is very sad that a person of your caliber could fall for such a stereotype mainly constructed by Shabian propagandists...need I tell a learned person like you how colonialism affected it's victims and Eritreans who were not allowed to study beyond 4th grade under their Italian colonial masters were no different until they joined Ethiopians and tasted the fruit of dignity, which of course they couldn't handle, thanks to the slave mentality..

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  6. All I ask is that my anonymous responders read carefully what I wrote. For example, I did NOT conclude that colonized Eritreans are "more highly educated" than Ethiopians. I was simply reporting a perception that some Ethiopians have of the Eritrean view of Ethiopians as reported to me by Ethiopians. This is not my personal view. The Ethiopian-Eritrean situation is fraught with emotion on both sides. The sooner that each side tries to assess the differences from the perspective of the other side, the sooner there will be a normalization or relations.

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    1. Thank you Ambassader.
      When it comes to Ethio-Eritrean issue I think the word “respect” is relevant because I think that is what is missing perhaps due to past historical incidents such as colonial interference which left it’s mark in the way people thought about each-other and the emotions you rightly mentioned to exist on both sides are just the symptoms of those artificial differences…
      Now diplomatic fallacies aside, the question is how can you take emotion out of the equation when the difference in identity itself is forged out emotions rather than a solid cultural and historical differences.. Do we honestly understand why Eritreans for example can not sustain their self-hood without the myths they have constructed about themselves?, specially given the fact that the elite architects of Eritrean myth the “Tigrigna” happen to share the same culture and history with Ethiopians mainly with Tigrians ? It is even worse when those myths are constructed in relation to Ethiopians, which Ethiopians are capabale of ignoring but do you honestly think it is possible to ignore the fact that those Eritrean myths are expected to be sustained at the expense of Ethiopia? Given our recent bitter history, will it ever be possible for 80 million Ethiopians to accept such an outright insult from 5 million people and if so on what ground? if not, how likely is it the current generation Eritreans who grew up on cocktails of false propaganda and myth construction would settle for Eritrea that is less relevant than Ethiopia they hoped to outshine? Regardless of who accepts it or not, is it not natural that the large and more resourceful Ethiopia would want to assert it’s relevance in the region? and do you think just because Ethiopia had in the past suffered major setback and was forced to compromise Eritrea’s independence, does any one think Ethiopia should continue to submit to Eritrea’s egoistic demands? Don’t you think the sooner Eritreans realize Ethiopians will never entertain the notion of being used the sooner peace will come? Because the chance of Ethiopians repeating past mistakes is zero knowing what the whole intention of almost every Eritrean? By the way Mr Ambassader, every Ethiopian from top to bottom is aware of the factual notion you mentioned about Eritreans wanting to exploit Ethiopia and they even have a saying in Amharic for it, “Eritrea yegil, Ethiopia yegara” meaning, “Eritrea for Eritreans and Ethiopia for share”..So you can see the deep sentiment that there is, and I am sure it would not be understatement to sum-up the current stalemate to this very sentiment..I am sorry if I sound a bit cynical Mr Ambassador, but I am only trying to approach the issue for what it is, and the issue in my opinion is more complicated than what diplomats understandably want suggest.....continued

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    2. continued
      So Mr Ambassador, all I am saying is we should not deny the need for an honest approach to the issue and that honest approach is to see it as a generational issue and treat it accordingly..If I have to be frank as an Ethiopia I DON’T for a moment think rushing to make peace with current generation Eritreans will solve the problem once and for all..I believe Eritreans need time on their own for some soul searching and realization of who they really are as people rather than the superficial image they have forged about themselves, perhaps not due to their own fault, but I guise there is only so much Ethiopia can compromise and I think that was it, 1998! and any deal that resembles pre-98 is doomed to fail and Ethiopia is better off holding to it’s current position for as long as it can, at least until a tasted and sober generation Eritrea is born out of misery. Again I apologize if I’m being to harsh on ordinary people but if we have be honest about the whole issue the individuals who misled and are still misleading Eritreans are brain children of Eritrean people and in fact only survive because the people are knowingly or unknowingly willing to carry them..I do not believe even the Eritreans who oppose the regime have a better vision than the regime, they only hate the hardship and embarrassment the regime caused and disappointed that Eritea is not what they expected it to be..that is it. I therefore do not believe a lasting peace is possible without addressing the root cause of the problem, which is in the mindset…..anyways, thanks for allowing me elaborate on some of the points you raised, and I hope to see more of your contributions…thanks again.

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  7. It is Amazing how people with little knowledge think about the fate of African people. Who is in the cold? In my hamble opinion it is US and Ethiopia living in the cold. Eritrea is basking in Sunshine. The Bademe war was a blessing in disguise for Eritrea. It has successfully demonstrated to the world it can stand by itself as an independent nation. Since the war and subsequent economic and military sanctions Eritrea stood firm in its proven self reliance policy, has successfully integrated its economy with Sudan and other friendly countries. Eritrean Mining Industry has attracted investors from Canada, China, Australia, Great Britain and South Africa while US Mining companies are left from the feast. With due respect Mr. Ambassador you were one of those along with Ambassador McConnell, Susan Rise and Jundayi Frazer who poisoned the warm relation between US and Eritrea, that was built by people like Secretary Warren Christopher and ambassador Cohen. Eritrea had forgiven US unjust support of Ethiopia since 1950s when US sacrificed Eritrean people desire for independence solely on US selfish interest. You are right the relationship with US and Eritrea can be expected to mend until US abandon its unprincipled and unjust support to Ethiopia ended. As to the unanimous commentator who keep dreaming of for Assab, I said good luck. Assab became Eritrea when Imiye Menelik won the Aduwa Battle but lost the war to Italians. After the Aduwa Battle Menelik signed with his ten fingers recognizing Assab as Italian territory of Eritrea. in exchange for few millions of Italian liras and few hundreds of rifles. So blame for Menelik for your loss of Assab, and not Issaias who liberated you from a communist dictatorship.

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  8. As a representative of a country that helped an ethno apharthied regime's upsurp to power which resulted in getting the second most populous country in Africa become landlocked your advise now seem to be adding salt to the wound. You need to start talking to people who can communicate what 90+ million Ethiopians think of their country's relationship to ungrateful eritreans before spouting out all kinds of theory zemawi might have told you. Thanks.

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  9. Assab belongs to Ethiopia! The sultan of afar was paying a tax to emperor Menelik II. Assab was sold to a merchant by the sultan of Afar without the awareness of the emperor. The merchant supposed to return Assab to Ethiopia instead to Italy deliberately. The name Eritrea itself comes after the Italian occupation. The emperor then obliged to accept the negotiation by force and this negotiation is broken by Italia itself during invasion of Ethiopia again, Ethiopia and the UN. Therefore there is no any legal background to say Assab belongs to Eritrea rather to Ethiopia.

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