By Berhane Alazar,
THE West’s hypocrisy towards the third world countries in general and Eritrea in particular continues unabated and is simply mind-boggling how it chooses only one side of the coin!
Watching the “Monkey see, monkey do” type drama unfolding, yesterday in Geneva, of the so called “Commission of Inquiry” of the UN Human Rights Council on Eritrea – by grownup men and women would have been nothing short of comical if the matter wasn’t serious, albeit unfounded, allegations leveled against Eritrea.
Except for certain principled speakers that held the honor of their respective offices, speaker after speaker couldn’t wait to take their turn to malign and diminish our Eritrean way of life and Eritrean values, and the now familiar ever demonization of the government of Eritrea. Frankly, it is insulting to our intelligence when these speakers had the condescending attitude to tell us how to run the affairs of our country.
To be sure, there are some challenging issues and situations, most of which is none of our making that need and must be addressed by Eritrea. The Eritrean government is doing what it can to that effect. But for Eritrea to handle those things imposed on her successfully, she needs to get the political space that has been illegally and unfairly denied to her by certain powerful countries whose speakers were seen shedding crocodile tears about the “Fate of Eritreans” in front of the UN cameras for all to see and hear!
What makes the accusations against Eritrea somewhat unique is that the delegates don’t seem to be ashamed of regurgitating ad nauseam the old and tired fabrications proved wrong many times before. Many of the delegates don’t seem to want to do any basic research and update their understanding of the country of “Concern”, which they so unashamedly denigrate! I guess the racism and patronizing attitude inherent in their colonialist mind never fades away.
Watching the so called “human rights” advocates of all colors and hues on the Eritrea prologue, there was nothing new on the latest salvo, the Commission chair found it worthwhile to lob against Eritrea. The following Tigrigna saying sums it all: “ዘረባ ኣደይ ለቱ ነየውፍር፡ ነየእቱ”! (Loosely translated, “There is no merit or usefulness to be had by such shenanigans!”). As such, there is really not much one can say except to rehash what has been said over and over again to a commission that had already made up its mind and declared Eritrea “Guilty” before finding out the realities on the ground. However, suffice is to note the following facts:
1) Since I am not privy as to why the Government of Eritrea may have not allowed you to visit the country, I will just state this fact. You have already made up your mind and chose to make Eritrea a guilty party. Why would the Government grant you a permit to that country that you have foolishly decided to denigrate – based on information that are hard to collaborate. By your own admission, you collected the “Damning” information from “Ethiopia and Djibouti”, two countries that have illegally laid claim to some of Eritrean territories; and from some disgruntled Eritrean runaways and draft dodgers! Do you really expect those sources to tell you any semblance of truth about a government they are hell bent on maligning?
2) Has it occurred to you that some of the neighboring countries, that you seem to disingenuously appreciate for offering “Shelter to Eritrean refugees”, are doing so, not from their bleeding hearts, but solely as a business venture as long as your governments continue to provide them some hard currency?
3) And how many of the so called “Eritrean” refugees are really Eritreans anyway? It is a proven fact that the minority regime in Ethiopia, for example, presents many Ethiopians as “Eritreans” to expedite the evil design it has against Eritrea and Eritreans.
4) What about the highly sensationalized, exaggerated, blown out of proportion and much talked about, Eritrean National Service? While this is none of your business, the last time I checked, the length of service was, and is, 18 months. But, since the unprovoked and unwarranted war the Ethiopians launched against unsuspecting Eritrea in the late 90s the Eritrean government did what a responsible government does. Because we are outnumbered by the Ethiopians, and they have refused to abide by the rule of law, illegally occupying a large chunk of our territory, we happily gave away the luxury of serving only for 18 months and were forced to serve our country as a matter of necessity.
If you were truly “Concerned” about the fate of our young people, as you claim to, then the honorable thing for you to do would have been to force your client state, Ethiopia, to pull out its occupation forces from all Eritrean territories as delimited and demarcated by the EEBC final and binding decision! Is that such a difficult concept to comprehend or unreasonable thing to ascertain? Refusing to do so, on your part, you have no right to ask Eritrea as to how to manage its human resources or anything else. PERIOD!
5) How about lifting the illegal and unjustified UN imposed sanctions that are helping aggravate the economic situations in Eritrea? What justifications does the UN have to the maintenance of such irresponsible acts based on fabricated issues that have long been proved erroneous? Yes, before your pretentious act of caring about our people, you would be hard pressed to change your chameleon color when, in fact, your governments are supporting and encouraging Ethiopia – politically and diplomatically as well as economically – in spite of the destructive role it has been playing in the Horn region?
6) What is this preoccupation with the phrases “Extrajudicial killings” and “Shoot to kill” every time this false “Human rights” issue is raised, when there are no systematic killings “Extrajudicial” or not in Eritrea? To me, somehow it sounds that a report is not complete or not sensational enough without those phrases. Again, “ዘረባ ኣደይ ለቱ ነየውፍር፡ ነየእቱ”!
Finally, there are many things that can be said and reiterated about this politically motivated garbage in garbage out conundrums that we all have been hearing for some time now from certain self-styled “human rights” groups or advocates. To begin with, if we are going to take you seriously, try to be fair, honest and call a “Spade, – a spade”, which will go a long way for Eritrea to trust that you have nothing but the welfare of the Eritrean people at heart.
Remove all those obstacles that are hindering Eritrea from practicing from what we, the citizens of Eritrea, expect of her, and, which have been created and reinforced by the UN under the direction of certain countries. And with the open support and encouragement of certain UN member states, it is no wonder the government of Ethiopia have chosen to live by the rule of the jungle.
Any UN organization that neglects the crimes the Ethiopian government continues to commit against Eritrea, and indeed one that overlooks those crimes does not have any right to finger point at Eritrea, which is only defending its political independence, national sovereignty and territorial integrity, the best way it knows how. Short of that, it is an exercise in futility to act, behave and be more “Catholic than the Pope” when it comes for Eritrea’s care of its people!