By Amanuel Biedemariam,
After a bloody civil war between the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) and The Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF), in the early 1980s, the EPLF became the sole representative of the struggle to liberate Eritrea. Then, Eritreans were confident but uncertain about the direction the struggle was taking. Many Eritreans were in the dark about what was happening because the ELF was a core institution that established the struggle. During these decisive times many left to Sudan and other places to seek refuge and the rest joined EPLF to fight Ethiopia.
Soon thereafter, the EPLF achieved string of military successes against the Derg regime. However, the EPLF’s unexpected Strategic-retreat and the silence that ensued in the aftermath perplexed Eritreans all over. To make matters worse, Eritrea was in a midst of draught that engulfed the region. The hardship that Eritreans endured then was unimaginable. Information was scarce. Eritreans received news of the developments via newsletters, occasional publications, video and cassettes. Then as in now, Eritreans were tuned into the home front for any news, inspiration, developments and moral lift. They received occasional visits from the then comrades that gave briefings and revolutionary education to enlighten Eritreans about the struggle in a farsighted way that planted seeds for the future.
Eritreans are confident and certain that victory is always certain. However, if one was to ask any Eritrean then, when will they see independent Eritrea? Not in our lifetime would have been the first answer. But that began to change after successive victories.
In 1988 Eritreans were tuned to find out what will happen with the massive Ethiopian army that amassed to destroy the EPLF. However, the EPLF ended-up destroying the massive machinery in Afabet, a mojor victory that provided moral boost and cemented the belief on Eritrea’s motto, “The Struggle is long but Victory certain.”
After the EPLF destroyed Mengistu Hailemariam’s military offensive commonly known as “Nadew,” the backbone of the military-machinery and its moral was broken. From that point on, victories piled starting from Massawa to Dekemhare paving way to Asmara and ascertained independence without ifs, buts or qualifications. Furthermore, Eritrea’s victory was not limited to the liberation of Eritrea. It went into Ethiopia, yanked the regime in Ethiopia and helped place a new leadership, in effect EPLF conducted regime change, first of its kind by an African country.
After the dust cleared, Eritrea successfully conducted a referendum giving Eritrea the certification of nationhood and hoisted Eritrea’s flag amongst nations of the world at the UN. In short, Eritrea became a nation to the dismay of many that never thought that the front they called “secessionist” could come to power and became a significant player instantly.
The circumstances have changed greatly since. However, as a result many of the events that ensued after independence, and as a direct result of the US supported Ethiopian aggressions, the people of Eritrea are forced to deal with what has become a war for the very existence of Eritrea.
The first phase of these aggressions was military but after the minority regime in Ethiopia (TPLF) was rendered impotent by Eritrean forces the power-to-be decided to take ownership of the war to invalidate Eritrea’s independence using varied strategies. These strategies have gone through various stages. No expenses spared and stones left unturned. The whole idea is to weaken the nation into submission. To that end, all diplomatic, economic, military, social, moral and regional pressures are applied. It is also worth noting that as Eritrea’s strength, economy and ways proved formidable, their strategies have become more brazen.
Using the sanction regime that the US deceptively, wrongfully, illegally and unjustly placed upon the people and government of Eritrea; US is pressuring many countries from doing business in Eritrea. Wikileaks exposed how Germany pulled its funding for the Bisha mining project. Many projects that are designed to help establish Eritrea’s economy face and keep facing unnecessary hurdles. The whole idea is to kill the economy, frustrate the public to revolt.
Regarding the Diaspora, the primary goal is to kill their nationalism by bombarding them with negative news over and again into giving up hope altogether. When bad news is compounded, the battery to the psyche is persistent, the willingness and resilience to fight grows weaker. That, they hope, will render Diaspora Eritreans helpless, dejected and ultimately withdraw.
Secondly, after they give up hope altogether, it is to ensure that Eritreans stop supporting their government. These sophisticated strategies have proven successful in many parts of the world. Eritreans, however, have shown unparalleled resilience to these schemes.
Thirdly, after the two goals are in place, their hope is that Eritreans turn on against their government. That is the best case scenario and a major goal to separate the people from the government.
Eritrea is relatively small nation with relatively small sized population. While that is seen as a weakness by the enemies, it has proven the opposite. Eritreans are united, resilient, strong, astute, brilliant, cognizant, agile and flexible enough to deal with all adversities thrown at them. In reality, the assault that Eritreans endured thus far would have knocked any nation big or small. The type, intensity and the level of assault has been unparalleled. However, what makes the enemies attempts to destabilize troubling is the distance they are willing to travel in order to assault the psyche and moral of Eritreans.
In a quest to defeat Eritrea, they have compromised the fabric of humanity. In the name of Human Rights, laws are broken, justice is trampled, aggression is a preferred tool, lies after lies are constructed to demoralize and confuse. International rules are broken, institutions manipulated, religion has become a political tool and manipulation of human suffering encouraged to be used as political tool.
To compound on the assault, Eritreans are in a disadvantaged position with minimal resources, minimal reach, disadvantaged political position, international laws and systems that does not favor their cause and, massive political powers scheming against them. The webs of entrapments are endless. Moreover, there exists no viable force to fight these injustices.
The list of things they want to associate the good name ERITREA is endless. They want to demonize and destroy the name to ensure that Eritrea is not associated with anything good. Before independence Eritreans were separatist, secessionist and today they are trying desperately to BRAND Eritrea as a trouble maker, a troubled state in desperate need of saving.
To that end, criminals that are the sources of the problems are tasked to act as messiah, cry on queue as if innocent and fighting for rights and justices. The Awate.com (name based on a single Eritrean and a site with a religious tone), Asmarino.Com (a regionalist group with a name that honors specific population) gang et al are the leaders notorious for their anti-Eritrean campaigns spanning over 12 years.
These regionalist and religious extremists like Selam Kidane, an Ethiopian with deep connection to Ethiopia’s former dictator Mengistu Hailemariam, who killed thousands of Eritreans, a friend to the late Meles Zenawi and a frequent traveler to Ethiopia, Elsa Chyrum et al are individuals that have been encouraging Eritrean youth to flee and turn around cry crocodile tears. Using every opportunity for a photo-op, Selam, Chyrum etc… exploit the unsuspecting by luring them with false hopes of emigration to the West. It is also a public record that they vandalized Eritrean embassies. Their rap sheet is long.
Meron Estifanos is another paid TPLF agent that goes out of her way to exploit the name Eritrea. Eritreans hold Meron personally responsible for her association with the trafficking of Eritrea’s youth into Ethiopia and then to Libya and the Sinai. She works with the anti-Eritrea groups and represents them in Awassa Ethiopia. In an interview with Naz at Meskerem.net (another anti-Eritrean site), Meron outlined the methodology of how she paid traffickers in an effort to pave-way for others to do the same. To create division and hate amongst Eritrea’s ethnic populations, Meron targeted the entire Rashaida population and vilified them as traffickers and criminals. These shameless individuals walked on sacred graves of Eritrean martyrs the TPLF soldiers ransacked to please their TPLF handlers.
In Washington DC and other major cities religion is used for emotional black-mailing Eritreans in the Diaspora. There are some notorious church leaders like Medhanie Alem church in Metro DC. These individuals go to every home in grief and rather than consoling the families they are conducting political campaigns vilifying the government of Eritrea. These are priests shunned by the Orthodox Church of Eritrea and not authorized to give any services.
The Awate.com has been trying to divide Eritreans by exploiting nonexistent divisions between highland-lowland Eritreans, an agenda the TPLF uses to pursue greater Tigray which aims to separate the Southern part of Eritrea, (termed Highlanders) incorporate it in Tigray’s map and use it to get access to the sea. The Awatistas are behind every campaign to wage armed struggle against Eritrea. Ethiopia’s illegal occupation of sovereign Eritrean territories, a major source of regional instability and reason to the hardship of Eritrean youth is their agenda. The suffering of youth is one way they can attempt to create a crack.
These elements combine the crux of the agenda and display it in unmistakable fashion. They work to demonize and misinform relentlessly. They encourage youth flight, turn around, and use it to campaign against Eritrea. Recently, with the hopes Lampadusa to give them some traction, the Awate gang and friends are using US media and fake petitions to appear as if fighting for the rights and justice. However, the contradiction of their actions and rhetoric is ridiculous. They ridicule Eritrea’s economy while working hard to undermine efforts the people and government of Eritrea make towards economic freedoms by working with TPLF and US, the very people that are trying to kill the economy by using illegal sanctions.
They support extremist groups to foment instability while spewing lies about the stability of Eritrea by trying to portray it negatively. They are in the forefront with the agenda of demoralizing Eritreans in the Diaspora.
They undermine international laws and the rights of the people of Eritrea by making illegal robo-calls in an effort to entice revolt. These are unregulated unlawful phone calls taking minutes and harassing innocent Eritreans. Just imagine how Americans or the Brits would react if calls to incite revolt came from another nation, that country will be bombed to smithereens.
These people are spewing deliberate lies that have no basis or foundations as exhibited by Asmarino.com that lied of mercenary army in Eritrea. Simply put, these criminals are representatives of the grand agenda that is aiming to destabilize Eritrea and they are the sole agents that the US and the regime in Ethiopia use to funnel their destabilizing activities.
The reality however, the world is yet to discover the true nature of Eritreans. Eritrea is a nation that is founded in gallantry not based on the imaginations, media and PR manipulations. It is founded with the blood of dear that have graced a nation with undying principle of selflessness. They will find that Eritreans did not die to chase a dollar or for individual gain. They will find that Eritrea is real and far different from what is portrayed in deception by criminals committing real crimes against Eritrea and innocent Eritreans everywhere.
They will find the history of Eritrea is determined by Eritreans not some media or PR strategy designed by a dying professor. They will find that Eritrea’s voice is always told by Eritreans, genuine Eritreans. They will find the true voice of the people of Eritrea, as it should be.
Eritrea is best at telling her own story. As articulated early in this piece, when the world thought Eritrea was done, the power of Eritrea was expressed with concrete actions and victories, not empty threats, rhetoric, lies or petitions. Eritrea was always able to control the situation on the ground and dictate the terms.
Yesterday, with every victory, the voice of gallant Eritrea was screaming louder all over. Without fanfare Eritrea was winning the battle of hearts and minds in deed with victory for the masses, with the masses and by the masses.
Today, as in the past the voice of Eritrea is screaming louder in victory. That knowledge is rendering the enemies sleepless and making them throw the kitchen sink frantically. And worse, they know the singing is yet to start.
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The writer can be contacted through aw[email protected]
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