By Abel Kebedom
I am writing this article as a rejoinder to the article written by an Ethiopian Berhane Kahsay’ bearing the title: Saudi-led coalition in the Horn: A threat to Ethiopia’s security (See http://www.tigraionline.com/articles/saudi-threat-to-ethiopia.htmlEthiopian,, April 30, 2016).
After coming to power with the full support of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) and the people of Eritrea, the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) minority regime had a problem. The majority of the Ethiopian people believed that TPLF was managed by the EPLF and it did not have a long term agenda. Thus to prove to the Ethiopian people that it was not managed by EPLF anymore, in 1998-2000, it declared all-out war on the government and people of Eritrea.
The war consumed the lives of more than 100.000 thousands of young Ethiopians and Eritreans. David Shin, the former US ambassador to Ethiopia’s assertion that TPLF suffers from Inferiority complex and Herman Cohen’s, former US assistant secretary of state for African affairs, testament that the 1998-2000 war on Eritrea was started because TPLF wanted to show that it was not EPLF’s messenger boy anymore are clear references to the previous argument.
Over the years TPLF depended on EPLF for everything. In fact not only the strategic decisions were made with the help of the EPLF but also EPLF provided TPLF the support it needed to implement the decisions. As a testament to the above claim after TPLF, with the support of EPLF, liberated the town of Shire, located in western Tigrai, a decision was made for TPLF to continue to Addis Ababa. However once the TPLF army was faced with a strong resistance from the Dergue army stationed in Wollo, it started to raise questions on the validity of its mission to occupy Addis Ababa.
Finally the majority of the TPLF army was convinced that its mission to liberate Tigrai was accomplished and ultimately refused to continue to Addis Ababa. Accordingly it deserted its bankers and started to march to Mekelle, living the EPLF tanks and brigades behind in the Addis Ababa front. Even though the Dergue army was much larger in number and was mounting a very strong resistance and intermittent attack at the front, EPLF ordered it’s relatively small army and tank battalions to secure the front at any cost and they did.
Later Meles went to Mekelle and conducted a large meeting to convince the cadres and TPLF army as to why it was important for the TPLF to occupy the whole Ethiopia and not to stop after liberating Tigrai. Ultimately he was able to convince the TPLF army to go back to the Addis Ababa front. If it wasn’t for the gallant EPLF fighters and tank battalions, the Addis Ababa front could have been broken and the Dergue army at least could have remained in Addis while TPLF was sitting in Tigrai. Despite its unreserved support to TPLF, EPLF knew from the outset that TPLF harboured mixed feelings about Eritrea and could not be trusted. However the sharp detour by TPLF was surprising to everyone.
Once TPLF was able to control Ethiopia with the help of EPLF and later eliminated OLF, it concluded that EPLF was an enemy that needed to be destroyed. To prove to the Ethiopian people that it was not EPLF’s messenger boy anymore it planned to attack Eritrea. To achieve its objective TPLF counted on the combined TPLF and former defeated Derg army and its western handlers. Accordingly for the past twenty years TPLF’s inferiority complex infested mind with the full support of its western handlers did everything it could to destroy the people and government of Eritrea.
However the twenty years struggle between the people of Eritrea and TPLF showed one thing. As witnessed during the liberation struggle for Eritrea, in the long term, Eritreans are the winners. As a sign of frustration, born out of failure to destroy Eritrea and its government, recently the TPLF strategy is shifting from saber-rattling to trying to advise Eritreans that any alliance with the GCC is to their peril.
The hyena advising the donkey on how to be safe.
TPLF tried to destroy Eritrea for twenty years and it did not succeed. Now it realized that Eritrea’s alliance with the GCC is not only a death sentence to its long term wicked strategy to destabilize Eritrea, but also will enable Eritrea to break the siege that was orchestrated with the help of its handlers. In fact the frustration with the GCC is not limited to TPLF. The handlers of TPLF and its surrogate websites are also officially expressing their frustration with the GCC expanding to Eritrea. Recently there was a video clip that was posted on Meskerm.net. In the video a so called EU expert publicly expressed the dangers of the GCC expanding to Eritrea and Eritrea breaking the siege. That was an eye opening and a good indicator how the policy against Eritrea was orchestrated and implemented.
As a continuation of TPLF’s frustration with the GCC coming to Eritrea, TPLF surrogate Websites such as Aiga forum and Tigrai-online are also publishing different articles on the issue. Tigrai-online’s recent article entitled “Saudi-led coalition in the Horn: A threat to Ethiopia’s security” is a strong evidence that TPLF’s heart is beating fast. The article advises Eritrean Christians that the Arabs are coming for them and they should be careful. It calls the Eritreans foolish for allowing the Arabs to set temporary base in Assab. The article also hints that there might be a need for the TPLF regime in Ethiopia to take military action against the GCC in Eritrea and Djibouti.
Eritrea is the land of Muslims and Christians. Christians respect their Moslem brothers and sisters. The Moslem brothers and sisters in turn know that division based on Religion is not in the interest of the country that they fought for and have been spilling their blood for the last fifty years. That is why Eritrea is not like Ethiopia, a country where Muslims are chased and beaten in the broad light inside a city that happens to be the seat of the African union.
On the contrary Eritrea is a country where Muslims and Christians enjoy the love and respect of each other.
As to Eritrea’s relationship with the Arabs, it is historical bridge built out of long term people to people connection that stretches for centuries. The Adulis port and Africa’s oldest mosque located in the sea port of Massawa are the testament to that long-term people to people relationship. Hence unlike the TPLF, Eritreans do not fear Arabs. Unlike the TPLF Eritreans know that the Arabs are their historical close neighbours without ill agenda towards them.
Eritreans know that their Arab brothers are friends in need and are not like the hateful Ethiopian expansionists that dream day and night to wipe Eritrea out of the world map. The irony is TPLF, the current fox in sheep skin that is trying to advise the people of Eritrea on the danger of Muslims to the Horn of Arica, is housing, arming and sending several Eritrean Muslim fundamentalist groups to destabilize Eritrea.
Moreover Wiki Leaks reported that some years ago the late prime minister of Ethiopia in its discussion with an American official on ways to destabilize Eritrea suggested to Arm and train Eritrean Muslims and help them to infiltrate and attack Eritrean public institutions.
So what is the objective of the current TPLF tantrum about the relationship between Eritrea and the GCC?
Well for the last twenty years TPLF has been riding the Terrorism card and receiving billions of dollars in support from the western world. Hence the current noise is simply a continuation of that policy. As to Eritrea, guided by its wise and neighbourly policy to words the Arab world, it knows that any relationship among neighbours that is based on mutual respect and cooperation is a win-win strategy.
Eritrea is indeed a country of Muslims/Christians that does not fear Muslims.
Awet Nehafash and Zelealemawi Zikri N’sewatna
To Contact the author of this article, write to:Abell101@yaoo.com