Edmund’s Coverage to Reuters: Armoring Mechanisms of Reporting with Polemic Words

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A carefully crafted report by Edmund Blair to Reuters from Asmara again attracts readers for veracious reasons. But what went wrong this time, again?

By Yosief Abraham Z.

On his February 29 variedly crafted report to Reuters from Asmara, Edmund Blair again attracts readers for veracious reasons. In addition to the incessant approaches other quarters apply to defend their arguments, Edmund Blair also armored this old notion; mixing misrepresenting words with facts, too narrowed individual stances with wide perspectives, have been placed profoundly.

In starting his reports from Asmara, the reporter chose to authenticate that “Europe’s migration crisis and the conflict in Yemen have created opportunities for Eritrea to draw closer to the European Union and Gulf Arab states.” Despite failing to elaborate how the conflict in Yemen have resulted in opening wide doors for Eritrea, the reporter then again glues his readers into stating that the ‘West’ is reversing its stance against Eritrea based on ‘religion-threat-backed’ stances rather than searching other secular mechanisms. 

Accordingly, Edmund Blair asserts:

“Western diplomats acknowledge a new approach is not just coming from Eritrea, which lies in a turbulent region next to Sudan where an Islamist government is in power, near Yemen where al Qaeda is active and north of Somalia where a Western-backed government is battling the al Shabaab Islamist insurgency. …With Islamist ideas on its doorstep, Western nations want a stable nation that can avert any seepage of ideologies.”

Of course, this is full of other concerning issues; from the beginning, Eritrea opposes any sectarian and puritans’ principles. Thus, mentioning this indisputable stance of Eritrea as the pivotal element for the start of positive engagement with the ‘West’ is, indeed, too biased, rigid and dogmatic.

With religious foundations which are known for their mutual spirits of engagements and living harmoniously, extremism and religious bigotry are completely rejected in Eritrea, and, undoubtedly, there is no any place to entertain such notions.

Therefore, while extremism and other threats are not the major cases for the current Eritrea, unfortunate to this, Edmund Blair attempted to narrate other ramifications. As Eritrea’s Presidential Advisor, Mr. Yemane Ghebreab has affirmed to Edmund Balir with deep sense of confidence, “Extremist ideas taking root in Eritrea is very difficult; it has been attempted over the past 25 years. And it has failed miserably.

This is enough to confirm to many other ‘Edmunds’ who perceive if extremism is a challenging aspect in Eritrea.
Side to this, the usage of corroding words in the report is still overly activated. Geographic words like the “tiny nation Eritrea” and the exaggerating frame for the “bigger Ethiopia” have been applied. Out of the conservatives’ ideology, it is traditional way to report countries’ current political statuses using their territorial sizes over their territorial integrity and sovereignty. Because of this, therefore, Edmund Blair told us:

“Western diplomats see a greater readiness to engage by the tiny nation that has long had a “go-it-alone” attitude, born of its solitary 30-year armed struggle for independence from its far bigger neighbor, Ethiopia, a quarter of a century ago.”

Here is the problem which comes true as signs of shambolic reports, especially when they are architected by those who do not know any deeply defined knowledge of political cultures and historical paths of Eritrea. Under any pretext, Eritrea has never underpinned this geographical term and its usage for influencing crucial decisions. In this case, what is meant Lesotho to South Africa, Vatican to Italy or Djibouti to Ethiopia? Nevertheless to this, however, for outsiders who look from the ivory-towers of their individual bias, the vastness of untold histories of Eritrea and incomparable and strong sense of citizenship of Eritreans, among other listless elements, are too robust beyond their dwarfing word–“the tiny nation.”

For flooding the report with facts that are shrouded with personal analyses, moreover to the raised various deep concerning issues, Edmund take us with his sentence that attempt to tell us of Eritrea’s blatant rejection for aid in the past years. But the policies which Eritrea had reversed in 2002 was to remark a clear border between “neutrally donated aid” and of between these “politically and religiously” opinionated donations.

Over that, what Edmund has missed completely to elaborate is that there is no any correlation between “being poor” and “rejecting conspiratorially fermented aid actions.” That is why the report is shined to preach us that: “Yet the nation that is one of Africa’s poorest and which has in the past rejected foreign aid.”

Without delving too much to the depth of preliminary economy philosophies, why Ethiopia couldn’t raise itself from the morasses of poverty despite massive aid donations from its allies, is yet another clear indication of that misguided attempt to correlate the expressions of “you are poor” and “thus you have to open your depots for packing with aid sacks.”

And at last, … on the expectations of Sheila Keetharuth, Member of the Commission of Inquiry,

In addition to the expectations I have to see meticulously used words in witnessing reports which are meticulously crafted thereby to avoid sensationalists’ words, Edmunds success to bring various quarters to the attention of his reports is undeniable. And one of those who are reported in his news narrations is Sheila Keetharuth.

Accordingly, “Sheila Keetharuth, the U.N. special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Eritrea and commissioner on the commission of inquiry who has not been allowed to visit, told Reuters that any sign outsiders were seeing inside any prison was positive,” is what we have been told concerning to her.

After having the news that in February, a delegation from the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights, was allowed to visit Sembel prison, south of the capital, she responded:

“Was this a kind of PR access? Do we have today or are we going to have in the near future broader independent assessment and monitoring of prison conditions?”

In fact, with her terrific assignments she has been waging against Eritrea, I personally do not expect her to reverse her anti-Eritrea stance for which she is well trained and committed; in addition to her armored efforts to incubate principles of anti-Eritrean advocators, her personality is what has been leading her nomination in the commission.

Therefore, for she will not welcome any positive engagements of Eritrea as still she fails to consider Eritrean thousands petition to defy the reports of the Commission Inquiry, her concern to know what will happen in the future is also part of her theatrical acts. Yes, just to impress those who sing songs of confrontational approaches!