BY MUSSIE KIFLOM | SERAWR.COM
In recent years, I have attended many Eritrea-bashing events that are presented by Martine Plaut and his associates. Two days ago, I made my way to the House of Lords to attend an event that was advertised as
Why Africans continue to seek routes into Europe … Why the EU has failed to agree a common policy on migration. The impact of detention centres of migrants, particularly women and children … What alternatives EU strategy for dealing with migration flows from North African would look like.”
But when you read the speakers names written as Martin Plaut and Selam Kidane, as ”the researchers”, you know that they have no topic to explore except to tarnishing the image of Eritrea and emotional blackmailing of those who seek to establish better relations with Eritrea.
I am not going to bore you with the details of their presentation, as it is the same old and tired staff that was manufactured and repeated over and over.
It was interesting to see their reaction when they were faced with views that challenged their presentation.
Martine Plaut is a very smart and experienced person in particular in the art of propaganda and deception. He knows well he is fighting a lost battle as he recently noted saying … “every one is queuing up to form a better relations with Eritrea“.
However smart he may be, he has simply lost it. When challenged, instead of dealing with the issues, he was making personal attacks. I informed his target audience that they should not expect anything objective from a man who has made his mind up writing a book in which he decided and crowned Eritrea as “Africa’s most repressive state” in its title. One of the audience asked him if this was true. He confirmed it was true by showing the book to every one.
The audacity of Martin Plaut was questioning back my motive to attend his events. He said that I had attended several of his events and that I must be getting paid by the Eritrean government.
I can understand from his perspective and culture they do not do anything for free. He has made a living out of Eritrea, as advisor to foreign officials of UK and the USA, and as a strategists for regime change agenda in Eritrea. But his attitude that he can arrange so many events to talk about my own country as he likes, and yet question my attendance, shows his level of arrogance and partly the extreme level of frustration he feels.
Selam Kidane was happy enough to repeat her usual staff, but when I asked her to give the audience information about her background history, the host tried to defend her that her history was irrelevant.
I expressed my agreement on points she made about how we achieved our independence, but her father was a top Ethiopian military official who was part of the regime that killed so many Eritrean lives.
I pointed it out to her that when the breasts of our mothers were being knifed, she was being fed with silver spoon of the Ethiopian regime.
She defended herself saying that her father returned back to Eritrea after independence and that the Eritrean government does nothing to him, which I pointed out, was a great contradiction to her other claims.
Selam was shaken as she realized the audience were surprised by this innocent looking woman, who portrayed herself as Mother Theresa, was not so innocent after all.
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Baroness Glenys Kinnock [the other Susan Rice from UK], the wife of former leader of labour party, Neil Kinnock, facilitated the event. This was the same person, who was heavily involved in preventing Professor Asmerom Legesse from presenting the “Other narrative of Eritrea” that challenged the report of human rights enquiry on Eritrea. They preach so much about democracy, yet they ensure different ideas and views are silenced in places and moments that matter.
Martin and his friends failed in their objective to mislead their target audience. The audience were able to see that this event was not organized to explore the topics outlined, but it was a one-sided campaign to advance a particular agenda. The audience also got the opportunity to hear different views and challenging questions by Eritrean patriots.
Martin Plaut also let himself down by giving the game away. He could not control his frustration and anger, when he was challenged.