Friday, January 17, 2014

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

African Arguments carried a fourth commentary on 17 January 2014 titled "Bringing Eritrea in from the Cold: We Need to Un-break the US-Ethiopia-Eritrea Triangle."  The author, Awet T. Weldemichael, an Eritrean-American who teaches history at the University of Kentucky, was one of my students at UCLA during the 1999-2000 academic year. 

8 comments:

  1. Thanks Mr ambassador. I have read what seems to be nothing more than a typical Eritrean propagandist acting as a scholar..but can you please ask your ex student, why while there are tens of countries around the world with border disputes, yet non of them use the dispute for oppressing their citizens and for poor economic performance. Here is Eritrea and it's so called "scholars" trying to justify their country's behavior and inability to be normal based on it's relations with others. At the end of the day, regardless of of who is right or wrong, what makes a nation a nation is the ability to at least allow it's citizens a normal life while dealing with external matters. For Eritreans who found their identity on contempt for others, it has become customurry to blame others for everything that goes wrong in their life, but it is even sad that the very establishment, American establishment that blessed Eritrean independence is dancing to their tune and all of a sudden worried about Eritrea being alone..well sir, that is what independence means!..

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    1. "For Eritreans who found their identity on contempt for others" -- that is indeed quotable. That sums it all up. The irony is they show so much disdain for the motherland while at the same time feeling the cold and needing her warmth! It is very funny!!! Even the entire idea of talking about *Bringing Eritrea in from the Cold* is indeed a metaphor for *missing the motherland*! The motherland can do without them - they never wanted her - so let them swim by their own!!! We are not gonna babysit them! We have many priorities of our own!!! My advice to them, bring a scissor and cut their baby-land out and plug it next to Sicily - where they think it belongs!!! Let them feel the warmth over there!!!

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  2. dear Ambassador, I apologize for slightly drifting off the subject, but I just came across a report about your comment regarding Ethiopia's right to a port and the need for discussion.. But the trouble you seem to believe the idea that Assab belongs to Ethiopia is outdated. If so, what more is there to discuss? you think Eritreans obtaining Assab without negotiation is right, but at the same time you believe Ethiopia obtaining Badime without negotiation is wrong...By the way there is nothing new about the way western diplomats see African issue only in terms their own convenience, but I hope you can understand why many Ethiopians feel frustrated about a seasoned diplomat like yourself being reduced to a lobbyist for losers..at the end of the day Mr Ambassader, Ethiopia earned it's card for whatever negotiation you are trying to initiate with blood and sweat of it's citens, while your new found friends tried it with force and Ethiopia can can dictate it with or without Assab while you are free to flirt with Eritrea in whichever way you like..but at least do not try to make us feel guilty for demanding our right to access to the sea outlet..trust me, our demand for a port that is just a few yards from us can not be any where near as absurd as your best friends who claim our rives as their own.. thanks and sorry for being to blunt...we are just tired of your double standard sir!

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  3. correction,

    dear Ambassador, I apologize for slightly drifting off the subject, but I just came across a report about your comment regarding Ethiopia’s right to a port and the need for discussion.. But the trouble is you seem to believe the idea that Assab belongs to Ethiopia is outdated. If so, what more is there to discuss? you think Eritreans obtaining Assab without negotiation is right, but at the same time you believe Ethiopia obtaining Badime without negotiation is wrong…By the way there is nothing new about the way western diplomats see African issue only in terms their own convenience, but I hope you can understand why many Ethiopians feel frustrated about a seasoned diplomat like yourself being reduced to a lobbyist for losers..at the end of the day Mr Ambassader, Ethiopia earned it’s card for whatever negotiation you are trying to initiate with blood and sweat of it’s citizens, while your new found friends tried it with force and Ethiopia can can dictate it with or without Assab while you are free to flirt with Eritrea in whichever way you like..but at least do not try to make us feel guilty for demanding our right to access to the sea outlet..trust me, our demand for a port that is just a few yards from us can not be any where near as absurd as your best friends who claim our rives as their own.. thanks and sorry for being to blunt…we are just tired of your double standard sir!

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  4. At first glance, I was inclined to ignore Mr. Shinn’s article, posted on Ethiomedia on January 14th 2014 and throw it in a rubbish bin where it belongs, as I did to Cohen’s article. But, out of respect for the good Ambassador, I opted to challenge his article as I understand it.
    However you slice it, the Ambassador’s writing can be summarized as follows: A) Eritrean tyrant, Isayas is at the end of his demise. He must be saved. B) Badme must be handed to Eritrea. As a “reward”, Ethiopia gets access to Asab for a fee. C) America wants to mend its relation with Eritrea and have an Ambassador in Asmara. There is a hint there that David Shinn is a candidate for the post. D) Tigrigna speaking Eritreans are highly educated whereas Tigrigna speaking Tigryans are not. These four are the obvious ones. Later on, I will come to the not so obvious one, which the good Ambassador is trying to communicate with the Ethiopian people at large.

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  5. Let’s analyze each of the above four points brought up by Ambassador David Shinn:
    A) If the Ambassador feels burdened and has the will and the means to save Isayas, all I can say is good- luck. Obviously, the good Ambassador is making a 911 call on behalf of the Eritrean leader.
    B) When it comes to Badme, the good Ambassador got it wrong. With all due respect to the Ambassador, the Algiers Agreement and the arbitration that followed it have been abrogated by Eritrea and they are now null and void. Why? Because Eritrea unilaterally dismantled, confiscated their heavy armaments and kicked out the UN peace keepers from their assigned post. Eritrean military forces entered the 25 kilometers of demilitarized zone illegally breaching one of the main part of the ceasefire. So, Mr. Ambassador, the arbitration that you and Mr. Cohen are singing is no more legally binding. Sir, you also suggested that Ethiopia be allowed to use the port of Assab for a fee. How generous? Mr. Ambassador! Seriously?, How naïve can we be to be told that one country pays the fee and the other country allows it's ports? Isn’t this a normal and customary practice everywhere in the world? I suspect the good Ambassador is throwing this idea to divert us from the main issue. You like it or not, Asab is an Ethiopian port and it belongs to its true owner. The bloodshed will stop only and only when Ethiopia gets unfettered access to its port of Asab. Of course, I like to underline that my preference would be getting Asab through understanding, compromise, negotiation, and applying an international maritime law.
    C) As far as American and Eritrean relation is concerned, it is the business of the two countries. To achieve that, I don’t think the good Ambassador needs to communicate via Ethiomedia. I believe American policy makers are a walk or a phone call away from Mr. Shinn. if America has the urge to tango with Eritrea, I’ve no qualm with that, and, I might add, many Ethiopians could care less about it. But, don’t count on us that we will be a participating band to the melody. America’s marriage and divorce with Eritrea is none of our (Ethiopian) business

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  6. Mr Schen, I think the whole coastal lines do not belongs to eritrea rather Afar people. Afar people are Ethiopian. so lets give them a referendum and wait for their choice. there is doubt that Afar is going to choose Ethiopia. You should make an emphasis here Assab has never been Eritrean port rather the merchant gave back to Italy instead of Ethiopia.

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  7. Mr Schen, I think the whole coastal lines do not belongs to Eritrea, rather Afar people. The Afar people are Ethiopians. So lets give them a chance to make a refrendom and the result is obvious. There is no doubt that Afar is going to choose Ethiopia. You should take a note also that Assab has never been a port of Eritrea rather a merchant gave back the port to Italy. Therefore, we Ethiopians have the right to claim Assab legally and historically. Any demarcation made by Italy is by force , so it is not binding. And Italy itself broken the treaty during the second invasion. Ethiopia and the UN also abandoned the treaty . It is clear that The Afar sultan was paying taxes to the emperor before. Hence Assab belongs to Ethiopia.

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