By Seble Ephrem,
SINCE pre-colonial times this small land on the northern coastline of the Horn of Africa has been eyed from multiple perspectives by all types of interested parties – always from the standpoint of a predatory self interest.
Mussolini needed to expand his Empire and with the help of the British, carved up a strategic stretch of the land and introduced infrastructure and industrial development by using and abusing the Eritrean people. Italy never expected their tenure to be so short lived. The British then came and “liberated” the country but they “…didn’t do it for you [Eritrea]”. The U.S. needed a satellite base to monitor USSR activities. The Amhara wanted “…access to the Red Sea, not the Eritrean people”. Weyane’s hopes to aggrandise Tigray are ongoing.
In all cases it is the geographical strategic location of Eritrea that has always attracted such interests. The contemporary vultures hovering over the land have their sharp eyes pegged to the emerging qualitative prospects in the mining industry.
Eritrea is leading other African nations in running its own show – by detachment from the shackles of indebtedness. The international community has left no stone unturned in their effort to thwart Eritrea from achieving her hard total economic independence. From creating conflict and division, to involving monitors, to issuing sanctions and embargoes, to ignoring the implementation of the Algiers Agreement and quietly allowing the continued occupation of Eritrean territory, to soliciting the migration of Eritrean youth and then seeking to sail in with pretentious concerns for “human rights”. The Eritrean people have seen it all before.
Eritrea gained full independence for the first time in its history in 1991 and has been self governing since. As a proud, young, budding, non-aligned nation with the revolutionary concept of self reliance it has enraged the corporate world.
The latest ploy by the UN imposed Special Rapporteur to invite the diaspora to a “hearing” in the UK and Italy to lodge their complaints against the Government of Eritrea is patronising as it is ludicrous. Nor does it bear any concern for the wellbeing of the people of Eritrea. Fortress Europe only allows migrants, whether economic or political, to claim asylum within the 1951 Geneva Convention bounds.
The economic migrants from Eritrea are basically forced to present negative stories made up for the benefit of gaining asylum status and employment opportunities. It would be against their own interests to then expect them to express the real reason, i.e. economic hardship, for their migration. Information gathered from Eritreans that are settled outside of their country is akin to information gathered under duress. Their survival depends on the colourful painting of a bleak picture of Eritrea. Add to these information coming from Ethiopians and other nationals who have passed as Eritreans in the books of the Home Office – the Rapporteur’s data is bound to be bloated with false statements.
It goes without saying there will be committed, optimist Eritreans who will respond/attend the “hearing” in the hope that the UN will listen and take account of their views and feelings on the futility of the works of the Special Rapporteur. They will stand up for the right of Eritrea to govern itself free from meddlesome international and corporate bodies. As usual, these, together with compatriots in Eritrea are the ones who will significantly make the difference in the direction of their country.
The mission of the Commission of Inquiry is very clearly of political motivation and the “hearing” exercise is merely intended as a window dressing to back their already drafted report on Eritrea.
The Eritrean people will no longer be hood winked, will not be railroaded, will not succumb to foreign intervention or dictation until we can read benevolence in all those eyes on Eritrea.