Saturday, April 28, 2012

Eritreans feel more modern than Ethiopians who eats Injera.

Eritrean Askari serving Italians agaisnt Ethiopia. That is the source of their supremacy.

The news you were listening last week about the so called  Eritrean leader Isayas Afewerki is dead is not true (though in the mind of majority Eritreans alive or dead, he is dead and unwanted leader in their life any more). The news was intentionally disseminated by the Eritrean leader himself. Sooner or later, he will die as a person. The question is if the Eritrean agent in Ethiopian now ruling Ethiopia supported by his European and Arab masters Mr.Meles Zenawi of TPLF alive after Isaya's death, will the Eritreans choose their mind for referendum with Ethiopia to live better life than under the false freedom? The answer is no. First of all Eritreans are hard headed and closed mind, and narrow nationalists. Therefore, it is unthinkable unless Meles is dead or toppled who is always ready Ethiopia to be exploited by Eritrea. The second issue is- Meles wants his mother land Eritrea to survive as it is (out of part of Ethiopia) to use it as Tigray Tigringi territory or as his hiding ground in case he is toppled from Ethiopia/Tigray.  I  will deal with this issue in detail later next week.  For now here is the Eritrean KKK racist leader President Isayas Afewerki why he and Eritreans felt superior to all Ethiopian people and black Africas in general- just because he (Eritreans) eats Italian food "Spaghetti" than the Ethiopian traditional food called "Enjera" and live in Italian made buildings.

Acording to some request of my readers to post the entire interview of Isayas Afewerki, with the French paper conducted by Fabienne Le Houerou; Here is what you were looking for. Getachew Reda Editor-

The Birth of Eritrea "If you eat spaghetti, you would feel more modern than the one who is eating injera"Eritrea's President Isaias Afeworki
The Reporter (Addis Ababa) December 8, 1999, Eritrea has been in existence for five years. This new state was born from the separation from Ethiopia following a war which lasted 30 years (1961-1991). Since the downfall of Lt. Colonel Mengistu, the Ethiopian state has been led by the former TPLF (Tigray People's Liberation Front), an ally of the EPLF (Eritrean People's Liberation Front), the latter heading the state of Eritrea. The two Marxist-Leninist movements, which had strong links prior to the liberation of both countries, found themselves at loggerheads on May 1998 in a war which was incomprehensible to the international community. The latter was dumbfounded by this war which considered to be "absurd" or "fratricidal", opposing former "Tigrean" and "Eritrean" army comrades and neighbors for reasons essentially related to border issues. Following is the point of view of one of the belligerents: The Eritrean President. Following the translated version of the interview with Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki by Fabienne Le Houerou, CNRS-IREMAN.

Why did Eritrea appear in the nation's arena so late?

This was due to political events following the Second World War: The United States imposed itself as a superpower and its strategic interest determined the fate of young nations such as Eritrea. Regional interests played also a role in delaying the independence process of Italian colonies.

Eritrea is a word that Crispi (President of the Italian Council) chose in 1890 to baptize and regroup the colonial territories along the Red Sea border. Why haven't you changed this name when independence was achieved on May 14, 1993?

I believe that nobody thought of changing this name associated with the genesis of the Eritrean nation. There are emotions and feelings that the people associate with this particular word: to bypass this attachment would have not worked.

What is the impact of the Italian colonial experience in Eritrea?

The intervention of colonial powers, particularly Italy, may be considered as a major element in the construction process of the nation and in the Eritrean transformation. The infrastructure, the roads, the railway, ports, airports, small-scale industries, factories, the introduction of a modern-type agriculture: all these factors transformed the communities that were under the same colonial administration, creating its own dynamism. People were transformed during this colonial administration. The cultural influence is very strong, especially in regards to the identity issue. Thus, I believe that it is only fair to say that Italy has played a major role in the creation of the Eritrean nation. Is this process any different in the case of Ethiopia which was also a former Italian colony? In the case of Ethiopia, the historical perspective is different. The process of the national reconstruction was traditional. In Eritrea, it is the colonial force which contributed to the transformation of the nation and to its being. In Ethiopia, the kings and the kingdoms were the ones that tried to build the nation. It can be said that the colonial process was a revolutionary one. The traditional evolution came about gradually. It is Menelik who brought about Ethiopia's nationhood. His predecessors had failed in this task. It is Menelik who created Ethiopia at the beginning of the century. If we compare the national build-up of both nations, we will find that the process was indeed diametrically opposed. Some consider that Eritreans and Tigreans are Christians, Habesha from the Highlands, that they have the same eating habits and that their cultural similarities are extremely strong.

So they say that this is a war between brothers. How do you react to this?

I find this to be cynical and stemming from a western viewpoint. These generalizations are made without the knowledge of the communities. History is something that separates us (Tigrayan and Eritrean) and this depends upon how the society evolved from one stage to the other. If the transformation is evolutionary or if it is assimilated, you would obtain different communities. Even though they speak the same language, if they have the same eating habits, the same architectural heritage and the same traditions, there is a distinct psychological, cultural and social difference. Things are not as simple as they are believed to be in Europe!

Can we say that the modern era reached Eritrea faster than Ethiopia?

You are right! The roads that have been built in this country and the infrastructural changes had touched all aspects of the communities. The Italian army recruited from 100,000 to 150,000 Ascaris (Eritrean Mercenary soldiers)in sixty years. Can you imagine the changes that have taken place? People were isolated form their communities, leaving behind their agricultural activities to become soldiers! These transformations changed the society. If you eat spaghetti, you would feel more modern than the one who is eating injera (traditional bread)! If you live in a villa you are modern, if you live in a Tukul or in Hudmo you are still considered to be traditional. This has brought about this kind of transformation. But these things are coming back today and are becoming a source of conflict with the actual President of Ethiopia. The Ethiopian leader tells his people that Eritreans look down on them. This is politics! All the articles that can be read in the press refer to this! The press says Eritreans have a condescending attitude towards Ethiopians. Of course they will say that Amharas belong to such a category, Tigrayans to another and all this is becoming a political instrument. This was not created today. I am not kidding! This happened under Italian colonization.

What is the Eritrean identity?
It is a process. In a given society, this process takes a long time. We can surely say that the Italians have put the foundation on which the Eritrean identity was built by way of transforming the society economically, politically, culturally and socially. The struggle for independence from 1961-1991 had also its own influence. The political consciousness and the feeling that we were working together to attain this goal is very significant in terms of identity. I believe that this has strengthened the transformation that took place during the Italian colonial era. I say that there are three phases: The first one corresponds to the Italian Era and to the process that transformed the society. The second phase is the political process and the confusion brought about by the British mandate. A mandate that lasted for ten years and the final phase is the armed struggle that started in 1961.

What was the force of the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF)?
believe that the determination of the people was a major factor that was not altogether sufficient. You have to be fully capable of utilizing your human resources: This demands an organization, mobilization and political orientation. The people have been organized to fight against an important army and to stand up against the threat that was facing Eritrea at this time. I believe that the EPLF has excelled in this endeavor of mobilizing the population not only in the whole country but also in Europe and in the United States. The contribution in the Diaspora has been important! I think I can say that the strategy was efficient and unique in that it was not a conventional war or a quick war. What we went through was a protracted conflict. We went from a type of guerrilla warfare to an important army fighting with tanks and artillery. The process was very long.

How long?
Twenty years! It took twenty years to organize an army of 100,000 people. This is between the moment the EPLF emerged as an organization in the 1960s and up to 1991.

What were the reasons for this armed struggle? Can it be said that the fighters were motivated by a dream, a dream of independence and that they dreamt about a nation?

If you look at it this way, politics is always a dream. It is a vision. You want to live freely, you do not want to be oppressed. You have a dream for economic prosperity that you want to attain for your community: good living conditions, nice houses, good education for your children, health facilities and all kinds of dreams concerning an ideal way of life, to have a cultural dream and finally to have a dream for nationhood.

Couldn't the border issue which started the war be resolved technically?

This is very clear. I do not see any contradictions regarding the colonial treaties. The treaties are there! it is a question of principle: we have to respect and give recognition to the OAU Charter. Initially, I believed that one of the achievements of Africa leaders, and I qualify this as visionary, was that in the early sixties they agreed and decided that colonial borders must be respected. But various colonial treaties exist. The first one, i.e. the Baldissera one that was signed after Adowa between Menelik and Italy and then the tripartite treat of 1902, the 1908 and finally the new one resulting from the Mussolini conquest of 1936 which did away with the various divisions and changed in into an immense regional unit: l'Impero dell'Africa Orientale Italiana.

Do you think that Somalia should be part of this conflict? Do you think that Somalia should be included in this empire?
The agreements are there! All legal aspects need to be presented to the tribunal. The 1936 agreement does not hold water. Then what would the consequences of the Second World War be if it had resorted in the breakaway of Italian colonies in East Africa and reestablished the borders to their previous status? Meaning the territorial borders which created Ethiopia, the real Ethiopia that existed at the beginning of the 20th century. This is a debate that does not hold water and is of no significance to me since the treaties are here! If there are claims to be made, we have a tribunal. We can resolve this problem legally! Going to war over this does not make sense! The 1936 agreement is not valid. It is a false agreement.

What are the territories that are the object of conflict between your two countries?

These are not territories found on the Eritrean map. The controversy came about when the new maps edited in Tigray and the Afar region are examined. Here lies the whole problem!

In the case that these territories were to be gained by one or the other country, what would be the economic effect?

It is not a question of economic interest. Earlier on, you told me about interviews you conducted with people in the streets in regard to the meaning of the borders to them. This is tantamount to physically touching them! It is not the economic aspect which is important; it is not the gold, the petrol nor the agricultural wealth! Things are not that simple!
Is territory always tied to economic significance?
This territory is part of my country, my home, I live here; this was inherited in one way or the other; the fact that somebody from the outside comes and takes my territory is not a matter of how much economic value this territory has! It is a question of sovereignty, it is a question of prestige, it is a question of identity as a nation.

What was the consequence of the introduction of the new Eritrean currency, the nacfa, in terms of the deterioration of relations between your country and Ethiopia?

The nacfa in itself cannot be a problem! It is a currency! A currency belonging to a country! This in itself cannot be a problem. If there were differences in our trade exchange in 1997, it resulted from different political perspectives. The Ethiopian government has its own economic policies as Eritrea does. We have tried to find solutions to resolve these differences in regard to commercial relations but this does not have anything to do with the nakfa!

But the nacfa not being in parity with the Ethiopian birr (the nacfa being devaluated) would have benefited the Eritrean trade at the expense of Ethiopians?

This is really absurd! We wanted the exchange to be free. The Ethiopians wanted to limit the exchange to 2000 birr. We, on our side, told them that this limitation was not practical! We wanted the free circulation of peoples and goods. Who will gain advantage? It is the market which decides! Anyway, these things came from our differences. We held discussions on all this since three or four years with the IMF and the World Bank. They were party to the discussions. Why would this be associated with the border conflict?

Do you think that Ethiopians dream of taking Assab?
Yes. I have a border conflict with the Ethiopians but I would not accuse them of having a dream on Assab. Never. Why shouldn't they dream of taking Eritrea, Sudan and all the rest?

What was the role of the Americans and the Rwandese in the attempts for peaceful negotiations?

I think that that the so-called Susan Rice was very childish. The Rwandese were not even included! The Rwandese should not be blamed for anything! To start with, these negotiations were supposedly designed to facilitate the interaction and the American team completely changed the mandate.

Why did they change it?

The problem of the Americans is that they become experts in a few hours on any object. When they think that they have become experts, they prescribe the medicines. They have become doctors and they give the remedies! And if you refuse their prescriptions, they will make you swallow it by force! This has to be done in a short time! We had a special envoy from the French President, Ambassador Guttman, who served as mediator in order to facilitate the arrangements between Yemen and Eritrea and to put into place an arbitration. It was a discrete and a serious diplomatic move which finally culminated in an agreement between the two parties.

How many victims were there on both sides in this conflict?

Well, I am going to tell you something which probably will seem general, but I do not wish to "sensationalize" the conflict! We do not want to create bad feelings in this affair for it would complicate the whole process. Even if the conflict has resulted in damages, we want to minimize them. As a result of this war there is a serious problem of civilian deportation in both countries. We do not have a political agenda aimed at deporting Ethiopians from our country. As far as Ethiopians are concerned, they can stay here. They are welcome. It will be madness to deport Ethiopians from Eritrea or Eritreans from Ethiopia! But it is a fact that there are Eritreans who are being deported from Ethiopia! Yes, and we are concerned by it but these deportations come as a result of the policies in Addis Ababa. This is not my policy! I do not think a logical explanation can be found for these deportations! Nobody would be able to give a good explanation for this!

Are you saying this is irrational?
No. The irrational remains in the domain of the reasonable! This is demented! This never happened! Never! Even the Sudan which has its own policies has never done this! The Sudanese never deported any Eritreans. Yes under the pretext of national security, they deport people. Mass deportation of this magnitude have never existed!

How about if I use the term of ethnic cleansing...

Well, this is in fact ethnic cleansing! There is no other explanation. I think this comes as a result of frustration.

What kind of frustration?
Why should Meles Zenawi (Head of the Ethiopian state) be frustrated by the fact that Eritreans live in Ethiopia? Why should this be associated to the border conflict? This border conflict is very simple. They committed a gross error: The officially declared war and the frustration of having done so brought about the rest.
What satisfaction are we talking about?

Hatred! how do you satisfy your hatred? By deporting people. You look at their eyes, whether they are blue or whether they are brown, and you deport them. That is all! This was said openly: If I do not like the color of your eyes I will deport you. Period! Then I have the satisfaction not to look in your eyes anymore. It is as simple as this.

Do you think that the Tigrean leadership is divided on the Eritrean question?

As of late, I do not know what happened to this leadership. Why would I bother to find out if it is divided or not? I am not naive to the point of hoping that there is a division inside their team.

According to you, what would bring peace in this region?
The simple thing to do is to demarcate the border. If this demarcation is not feasible for whatever reason, and I do not know why, if there are claims from the Ethiopian side, we can go to a tribunal or a court of justice and find a legal solution. All the possible avenues for a peaceful solution should be looked upon.

From now on, do you want peace?
I always wanted peace. I do not like war! Who likes war? When it is a necessity that is imposed upon you, you fight for survival, but wanting war for the sake of war is unthinkable! In conclusion I would like to say that whatever happens a peaceful solution will override everything. It might be very difficult and long but this is going to happen, whether it pleases people or-not. -
Thanks-Getachew-Reda Editor //