Ethiopia’s marionette Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, this week told a local newspaper that what the Saudi and Gulf States about to offer to arch enemy Eritrea in exchange for using its water and air space is getting on his nerves. Then he starts to warn both the Saudis and UAE of unspecified consequences if what they are offering is substantial enough to bring economic and other benefits to Eritrea. If not sacred, he clearly sounds jealous. While, we get used to his routine empty rants, but who does he think he is to warn Saudi Arabia and UAE of anything?
His attack against the Saudis and the Emirati was based on a recent unconfirmed report by the UN Monitoring Group (SEMG) that alleges the Arab states leased the Eritrean port of Assab for 30 years.
“…The Monitoring Group also heard unconfirmed claims, including from a former high-ranking Eritrean official with contacts in the Eritrean military and an Eritrean analyst with direct access to serving Eritrean ambassadors in the Middle East and Africa, that some 400 Eritrean soldiers were embedded with the United Arab Emirates contingent of the forces fighting on Yemeni soil on behalf of the Arab coalition…”
The Monitoring Group have a track record of dutifully incorporating all kinds of rumors and allegations about Eritrea including the infamous “2,000 Eritrean fighters inside Somalia and of Eritrea’s support to Al-Shabbab”. Years later, after compromising its credibility, the UN Monitors admits that both allegations are baseless. So what is the rationale that the “unconfirmed” allegation about a port lease and phantom soldiers in Yemen might be true this time? It’s the same futile exercise by this discredited Group against Eritrea.
Veracity of the allegations aside, the Ethiopian Prime Minister rather sounds more terrified by the alleged deal than jealous. What is it to Ethiopia if Eritrea agrees to lease its ports to a friendly country like UAE? Did Eritrea objects when Ethiopia leased lands the size of England to Saudi Arabia and UAE, at a give away rate, for 99 years? Off course not. So what has gotten into the skin of this accidental Prime Minister?
“Saudi Arabia and the UAE will bear the consequences of Ethiopia’s response if their operation in and around Eritrea’s Port of Assab supports the Eritrean regime’s destabilization agenda against Ethiopia,” exclaimed PM Hailemariam Dessalew.
“The point is,” adds Hailemariam,” we were not consulted before the countries reached to this agreement.”
The poor chap still thinks Eritrea is part of Ethiopia. What makes him think Ethiopia needs to be consulted by the Chinese before they rented a military base in Djibouti? I think it is suffice to remind this lunatic Prime Minister that Eritrea is a sovereign state for the past 25 years and it doesn’t need the consent of any one to deal with its internal affairs as well as matters of its national interest. Like any sovereign state, including Ethiopia, Eritrea has unreserved right over its land, see and air space. If PM Hailemariam was worried about the millions in revenue for Eritrea, then why not billions. Still, it is none of Ethiopia’s business.
“They have assured us that they would not be engaged in activities that would endanger the peace and security of Ethiopia. They have said this is only a choice of tactical convenience to their operation in Yemen and that they would evacuate the area as soon as the mission is completed,” Hailemariam told the news paper.
How on Earth the Saudi led Gulf States mission in Yemen endanger the peace and security of Ethiopia? Is Yemen Ethiopia’s immediate neighbor? Do they share a common border? Who does he think he is to level a warning against Saudi Arabia and UAE?
“Ethiopia absolves itself of any responsibility in case of disruptions to their operation in the area due to its proportionate response to any provocations by the Eritrean regime. We have a right to protect the sovereignty of our country,” concludes PM Desalegn revealing rather his country’s latest design against Eritrea. Does he think the Saudis and Emiratis will sit aside and watch? He can try that at his own risk!
As confused as he has ever been, the Prime Minister yet to believe the veracity of the Monitoring Group’s claim that Assab port was leased for 30 years for the Emirate.
“There is no evidence Saudi Arabia and the UAE had leased the Port of Assab from Eritrea for 30 years,” exclaimed PM Hailemariam before winding up his interview.
Back to you PM Hailemariam. If you already know the UN Monitoring Group’s claim about the port lease by UAE was bogus, then who ruffled your feathers? What tickles you to make such a sweeping statement against Saudi Arabia and UAE based on such unconfirmed report? It’s written allover your face Prime Minister. You are scared. Just hold your pants up.