By Beaton Galafa,
Africans have been exposed to the same misinformation and lies about some corners of our very land we have never been to. For those who don’t know Eritrea, first time knowing it introduces you to the highly-coordinated propaganda levelled against it. Its problems are over-exaggerated, reported as having never been experienced elsewhere. The imperialists controlling United Nations take advantage of the disorganization from within Africa, particularly the African Union, to ride on our regimes’ backs.
It is after you stand aside and objectively analyzes information you have gathered from both Eritrea and the mainstream media that you’ll start to realize it’s the same old lies that have been used in the west’s desperate bid to maintain a tighter grip of power on the continent. The idea is to maintain a chaotic Africa, very weak and easy to exploit for their survival. (Colonialism and slavery will show you they need Africa more than Africa needs them for survival).
They have largely used the educated elite in our societies, most of whom the west through colonial education systems has successfully converted into a religion of civilized western parrots of democracy and human rights theories that make them scorn their own countries. (The same way they supported with guns and used local chiefs during slavery and colonialism). We have, sadly, entrusted these mandarins with leadership positions at all levels, lending our ears to them as they allow the real gross perpetrators of violations against human rights persecute us on the same anomaly they are good at. The problem with our society is we have been made to look up to the educated to enlighten our paths. Such people see no problem in grinning at the west even when they rape our sovereignty as a continent, and it is such leaders that have isolated useful leaders like Isaias Afwerki, Robert Mugabe and late Col. Muammar Gaddafi among others.
This, they do just for their pockets. That’s what the modern educated African has reduced himself to at a time Africa needed our vigilance most to seal the victory our forefathers registered in the struggle for independence decades back. This is what South Africa’s promising liberator Julius Malema has been preaching, that we should have taken over from where the Madibas stopped. The ordinary African was saddened when the African Union, for example, did nothing to save a legitimate head of state from the wrath of imperialists when Col. Muammar Gaddafi fell in the hands of NATO, USA and France. It was only condemned by Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe. That demonstrates how docile an enslaved continent we are. But UN preaches human rights and freedom. It has been doing this to an already free people in Eritrea whose only crime has been a plea to be left alone and run their own affairs in a way that suits them. This, the vultures haven’t allowed to happen.
Eritrea has been attacked by the United Nations from all sides ever since it emerged victorious from its liberation struggle, largely because of a model government the country is, one they want to illegitimize through demonization.
Ethiopia is no longer Eritrea’s real enemy as many might think. Theirs is a dispute that a United Africa can easily solve. The problem is Africa is fragmented now with some bent on establishing ties closer to the west than their own neighbours. Eritrea’s real enemy is the whole United Nations for refusing Eritrea the chance and space to grow. For instance, the UN Security Council imposed sanctions in 2009 on Asmara for its purported support of the Somali Islamic insurgency, an allegation that was never satisfactorily substantiated. Yet countries clearly linked to the Islamic State in the last two years are walking around heads high, still shielding ISIS and other Al Qaeda affiliates from the wrath of Russia’s bombing campaign in Syria.
Asmara is portrayed as having the worst human rights record on the continent (attracting sanctions too). Yet in the United States, 2015 saw over a thousand people killed by police, with a Guardian study showing that young black men were nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed by police officers. And that country sits relaxingly with fellow imperialists lying to the world about gross human rights violations in Eritrea.
But Eritreans have again stood up for their rights. They have always risen on their own, knowing nobody is willing to speak up against the United Nations’ injustice to Asmara and Africa as a whole because what’s happening in Eritrea is reflective of the recurring truths about struggles of any African country that has opted for practical sovereignty. They have successfully managed, both at home and abroad, to convey their message in bold: “hands off Eritrea”.
As everyone might agree, the Eritreans say, “Sanctions based on lies are a violation of human rights.” The one real crime that Eritrea has committed and the imperialists behind the sanctions won’t mention explicitly is their not changing a president since independence. It’s detestable to the west because they know the stability this feat has brought on Asmara. That’s how sanctions have failed to bite the country. The imperialists know their western concept of democracy, when embraced in all totality disregarding Africa’s historical and socio-cultural context, will keep us characters of the allegory of the cave eternally. Eritrea has been wise enough to weigh the pros and cons of a western propagated system of government and one of their choice, a little different but suitable for Eritrea.
What has been more impressing most recently is the Eritrean Diaspora’s resolve to write the United Nations dismissing the UN’s Commission of Inquiry’s report on Eritrea (COI). The flaws of the COI have already satisfactorily been discussed on different forums, what remained was this reaction from the Eritreans: a rare feat of bravery from an oppressed people.
Eritreans have not allowed their minds to be taken away by what propaganda media has been spreading. They understand Steve Biko’s “the oppressor’s greatest weapon is the mind of the oppressed” adage. While some African governments give room to westernized impostors to lead in giving opinion on matters affecting one whole country, the Eritreans have shown they simply don’t have that time. They realize the dangers these imperial powers pose on their state’s sovereignty.
This is a reminder of another courageous feat they carried out in 2010 when they protested against renewed sanctions on their country. It is such energy that keeps Eritrea going. Africa, from Cape Town to Cairo, Lilongwe to Lagos, must emulate such courage and Africa will become the sovereign land we want it to be.
The United Nations is largely controlled by those very people that enslaved us for 400 years, substituted slavery with colonialism for over a century and here we are, still trapped in the belief that only now would such people work for the common good of us, even without our being on guard. It’s for themselves. Their attitude towards the Third World explains it all. We must all join Eritrea in its campaign against the UNjust nature of this imperial police dog.
Beaton Galafa is a Pan-Africanist and activist from Malawi. He can be reached through his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/galafa