Drs Tsegezab Gebregergis
I have watched with great interest the three-part interviews conducted by ERISAT with Mesfin Hagos.
I am glad to state that, as far as I am concerned, General Mesfin showed dignity, calm and wisdom and performed well during the entire interview. The responses he gave to the barrage of questions put to him by his interviewers were cautious, insightful and strictly focused on the essence of the questions without any pretence to impress his audience, as is mostly done by opportunist vote-counting politicians.
Some of the questions the general was asked seemed intended to corner and ridicule him, while others were incoherent, infantile, aggressive and devoid of any wisdom. Still, other questions, asked while he was busy providing answers, were unrelated to the questions already asked.
Others related to his travel schedules were asked thoughtlessly – questions such as: when does he intend to return to Tigrai and what precisely does he intend to do. Obviously, these are questions that could endanger the security of the general in the present dangerous circumstances in the region, in the same way as Endargachew Tsige was kidnapped while travelling through Yemen to Eritrea and imprisoned in Ethiopia.
Besides, I am at a total loss to understand why the interviewers shied away from addressing him by his rank as a four-star general decorated for his bravery in leading the Eritrean resistance army to triumphant victory in May 1991.
Indeed, I found it bizarre for a journalist to ask disparaging and ridiculous questions of an invited high-ranking guest in a public TV interview – questions such as: “Ato Mesfin, shall I call you Mesfin or General, as has been the case recently in the social media?”
Obviously, as a matter of principle, national honour and pride in Eritrea and its people, he should have been addressed from the outset as General Mesfin Hagos and not simply as Mr Mesfin, as the female journalist inappropriately and disrespectfully addressed him.
Folks, we are referring here to an Eritrean national hero and the legendary military commander of the Eritrean resistance forces who outsmarted and defeated the Ethiopian generals and colonels trained at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst in the UK and at West Point in the United States and the Russian generals trained at the General Staff Academy in Moscow.
It is therefore very important that Eritreans of all ages and ideological persuasions clearly understand that General Mesfin is one of the most outstanding revolutionary commanders that the Eritrean people produced in the flames of their struggle for national independence.
Indeed, it was under his superb military command that the heroic Eritrean resistance army destroyed the backbone of the Ethiopian army in the famous and fabulous Battle of Af’abet in 1988.
General Mesfin is one of the most important four-star generals alive today and a national hero in Eritrea. We all should be proud of him and respect him as one of the greatest sons of Eritrea.
However, much to my chagrin, his interviewers critically lacked professionalism, integrity and style and failed miserably to focus on the pressing questions with which Eritrea and its people and the region as a whole are faced at this crucial juncture in our history.