By Aman Nebiat,
EVER since the first bullet was fired by Idris Awate on September 1st, 1961 in defiance of Ethiopia’s attempt to annex Eritrea, the fight of Eritreans has always been for “Peace, Freedom and Respect to Human Rights“. It was a fight for freedom from Ethiopian occupation to full independence and after Eritrea’s Independence in 1991; the fight has never lost its cause of achieving social, political and economic freedoms despite facing unimaginable conspiracies both globally and at home.
After successfully guaranteeing the liberation of Eritrea, the people and government of Eritrea immediately took head on the task of achieving social, political and economic freedom as these are the continuation or the second chapter of Eritrea’s freedom which in itself asked a different level of sacrifice, determination and accessing priorities. These seemingly simple words are very hard to achieve and they require equal or more sacrifice than the sacrifices Eritreans had to pay during the armed struggle for independence, especially when every step we take is sabotaged and we have to paddle through the rough and bumpy waters alone believing at the end we will reach the safe shores overcoming all odds.
In addition, these are not just beautifully decorated words merely uttered for PR purposes, but they are the pillars upon which the Eritrean society is built and they are also values that our martyred heroes have passed on to us to build, cherish, protect and pass on to the future generations of Eritrea.
So what could be wrong with setting such high standard goals and noble aspirations? Why do individuals, groups or nations fear these ideals? Who benefits and who stands to lose from such aspirations are the questions that come to mind examining Eritrea’s journey both before and after independence.
It is understandable that every nation has to go through some kind of a stage mostly and historically turbulent and dark days to assert themselves, to achieve their freedom from economic and political slavery from a more powerful regional or global order and Eritrea has had more than its share of so many very dark days indeed.
Deceitful men speak words of peace while secretly planning evil (Obadiah 1:7) as such even though those who denied Eritreans our existence smiled and pledged to accept our independence and that they will welcome us to “the International Community“, covertly and overtly, they did and are doing everything they can to conspire against us, to alienate us from “the International Community” and undo our independence.
As if the unparalleled crime and injustice they have committed against Eritrea and its peaceful people from the early 40’s until Eritrea’s full independence in 1991 was not enough, right after gaining independence, very sophisticated, intensified conspiracies and sabotages were levied in every sector of the Eritrean society with the sole purpose of weakening the solid rock unity and determination of Eritreans. It is a determination to rebuild Eritrea and fulfill the wishes and will of our martyrs, and most of all safeguard our peace.
Since Eritrea’s independence in 1991, the Government and People of Eritrea have been hard at work to ensure social justice in Eritrea and this has been such a challenging battle in light of the global economic crisis and the many conspiracies both internally and externally aimed at weakening Eritrea. Despite all these challenges, however, the Eritrean government and people mobilized and organized through the popular and amazingly successful program of “Wefri Warsay Yikealo” or “Self-Reliance” with full participation of all Eritreans at home and abroad have been doing all that they can to guarantee every Eritrean citizen the basic minimums such as access to clean water, food security, free education and health care, affordable housing, income security and most importantly peace.
Without any shred of a doubt the GoE has made significant strides in all of these areas and it has achieved them without any or little outside help. Based on the latest report from the UN, Eritrea has already achieved three out of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) well ahead of the target year 2015 and it is fair only to say, Eritrea should be rewarded, encouraged and supported by the UN and all peace loving organizations and countries rather than slapped on with unjustified and falsely fabricated sanctions aimed at undoing its progress.
In fact, based on the “Declaration on a Culture of Peace” passed at the UN General Assembly 53rd Session on 13th of September 1999, these following two interesting articles are mentioned that highlight this point:
“b. Full respect for the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of States and non-intervention in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any State, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and international law”
“a. Promoting peaceful settlement of conflicts, mutual respect and understanding and international cooperation”
As article 1 clearly stipulates, the UN and all the countries that agreed and signed to pass this declaration, but especially those who are powerful, rich and advanced nations have a responsibility to honor, protect, nurture and respect these ideals at the highest levels because these are universal ideals if supported with real actions could have significant positive outcomes for the betterment of world peace and human welfare.
Contrary to this, however, and sadly enough, the so called Super powers and developed nations for far too long have been and are continuing to misuse and purposely attack these ideals in order to cling to their status as leaders of the world. In line with this, when it comes to Eritrea, every single one of these ideals of the “Declaration on a Culture of Peace” have been shamelessly and hypocritically broken by the UN and all the world’s powerful nations and particularly by the United States making them the biggest violators of Human rights against Eritrea and its people.
If it was not so, the body of the United Nations tasked with physically demarcating the border between Eritrea and Ethiopia would have been allowed to proceed to lay the pillars on the ground as the border issue have already been legally settled and virtually demarcated by the Eritrea-Ethiopia border commission well for over seven years now.
Furthermore, as stipulated in article 3, instead of promoting a peaceful settlement to the Eritrea-Ethiopia border conflict, the UN, the Security Council, the EU, AU and particularly the United States who signed as a guarantor to the Algiers Agreement and pledged to implement the final and binding decisions of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Border Commissions’ final rulings within one year of the ruling, have neglected their responsibility to uphold the Rule of Law for the past 13 years.
Human Rights and human dignity are universal values and Eritreans have the right to have their Human Rights and dignity respected. Eritrean citizens, who have been internally displaced since the war erupted between Eritrea and Ethiopia in 1998, continue to live in makeup shift huts being refugees in their own homeland without any hope of returning to their previous villages to start a normal life. How can such gross violations of Human Rights and abuses continue to be tolerated by the UN, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and all the other organizations and nations that would like to lecture Eritreans on the meaning of Human Rights? The answer is very simple and it follows the line of thinking that believes; if Eritreans are left alone to rebuild their nation without any assistance from the donor nations, the IMF or World Bank, they will become a threat of a good example and an inspiration to follow not only for African nations but to all oppressed and marginalized people thereby endangering and challenging the forces of oppression and domination in the world.
This wrong, hateful and unjust thinking compounded with Eritrea’s refusal to host the USAID and all other NGOs that seek destabilization and chaos in Eritrea and finally the closing down of the UN peacekeeping mission’s office in Eritrea are the reasons why Eritrea was falsely accused of aiding Al-Shabab militants in Somalia in order to justify the passing of the US-Ethiopia engineered, UN-just and Illegal sanctions on Eritrea.
This is an intimidation tactic the U.S employs through the UN or unilaterally against nations that do not follow a path it prescribes for them, but Eritreans as before are not fazed by it and will not be fazed by it, because as people and nation, we have a clear path of our own, we are the owners of our destiny. Eritrea has an independent political stance that does not bow to anyone and takes no orders from no one but its own people only. Eritrea’s political stance is rooted at ensuring social justice to all Eritreans, fostering regional and global peace and security and advancing environmental protection.
If the United Nations sincerely continues to stand for peace, respect to human dignity and the protection of Human rights of all peoples and nations, we Eritreans and all peace loving people are saying with one voice, it is high time that all conspiracies, violence, attacks, discrimination and sabotages against Eritrea be stopped and the Unjust and Illegal sanctions against Eritrea be lifted immediately. After all, it is the mandate and Charter of the United Nations to protect peace since peace is also unalienable Human Right.
Glory to Eritrean Martyrs,
May God Bless Eritrea and all the world and May the forces of Truth and Peace win.
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The writer Aman Nebiat can be reached through [email protected]