Defining Ethiopia's Character In Light of Eritrean Challenges
Tseggai Isaac
July 28, 2003

There were times when the world viewed Ethiopia with romantic admiration as a land of justice and wisdom. Of course the very name "Ethiopia" of yesteryears is of dubious currency now, but suffice it to say that the land now inhabited by Oromos, Amharas, Somalis, Sudanese, and maritime-Eritreans was commonly referred to as Ethiopia. A political synthesis over the centuries involving the dynamics of religion and politics have folded back the "Ethiopian" reach to its current geographical propinquity. It has shrank to its current size, and, I am convinced, give it a decade or two, it will even shrivel like leaf in the desert sands.

Why? Ethiopia has long lost its character; the life-sustaining socio-cultural elements that would have nurtured its developmental prospects are in terminal paralysis. Irrespective of their current Prime Minister's political contraptions, the political phenomenon unfolding today in Ethiopia is brewing a stew of hatred that must sooner or latter come to light so that those who are fettered in the TPLF yoke will inevitably say enough is enough and that, once they will have come to their senses, the minority ethnic enclave masquerading as a mobilization party will be recognized as one that is not committed to justice. No minority regime in history has ever afforded itself to rule without abridging the rights and liberties of the majority.

Even if Ethiopians of all political and religion-ethnic persuasion convince themselves about the viability of the current system, realities will hit them hard when its untenable edifices resting on the shoulders of lawless Tigrayans, inspired by hatred, savage cruelty and insatiable greed, start falling like a house of cards. Furthermore, whatever meager change they may have seen in the last few years by way of accumulated wealth by their lords from Tigray, it will all come to naught and the Ethiopia of today will further descend in the twilights of its sunset.

The challenge for Ethiopians today is to reconsider their blind hatred of their Eritrean brothers, reject the Tigray political culture that is in vogue in Addis Ababa, and distance themselves from the destructive path the Woyane is embarking. We should not destroy wantonly the bridges that connect us because a few village chiefs in Tigray wanted Eritrean lands that were already recognized as sovereign Eritrean territories. The challenge for Eritreans now is

  1. To realize that no matter what they may say, the TPLF does not have the wherewithal to wage a war to re-colonize Eritrea; such a move can only accelerate the demise of Ethiopia as well; the cost is incalculable.

  2. To hold on to our courage and to condition ourselves for whatever challenges the dying Tigrayans may present us,

  3. To take the moral high grounds and not to fall to the hateful generalization and condemn all Ethiopians, be it Oromos or Amharas. We should realize that the Ethiopia of the Tigayans is different than the Ethiopia of the Oromos, perhaps even from that of the Amharas.

When all is said and done, Eritrea is a sovereign state as sovereign as Ethiopia. Its territorial integrity has been etched in stone by the world community utilizing many international instruments of law, including the recent rulings by the Eritrea-Ethiopia Border Commission (EEBC). Even if the TPLF decides to start new rounds of war, and take any land from Eritrea, including Badme, it can only do so as a lawless state under the rule of lawless thugs representing a tiny percentage of the population. Nothing that the TPLF regime can do against Eritrea will be legitimate.

Eritreans of all persuasion should know this and stay vigilant. We cannot afford to lack courage, determination, sacrifice, and steadfastness in the face of looming threats to our independence, honor and national dignity. Unity among Eritreans at this time should have not been too much to ask if it were not for the fact that a few dishonorable Eritreans are now working with the TPLF, the worst enemy of Eritrea. These Eritreans aligning their future with the TPLF will find out that they were wrong to betray their country at the most critical times, and that their betrayal was not motivated by their interests, but by the interests of their country's enemies. This stand makes them worse than traitors; because the shame and their total lack of judgment compounded by their corrupted sense of patriotism MUST reflect their dishonorable character. What a disgrace!

The recent retreat by the Government of Ethiopia from an agreement that has taken years to frame at a cost of millions of dollars involving dozes of countries is posturing. It will not stand; Ato Meles knows it and his advisors and ruling circle know it. The only way to take land from Eritrea now is if Eritrea wills it; for Eritrea to will the amputation of its rightful territory can only take place if Ethiopia is willing to pay the price for it.

At all cost; all the time; and now more than ever, Eritreans are ready to sacrifice, to die in order to protect and preserve the sovereignty and honor of their Country as well as the dignity of their people. This is not time to fear, waver, or look backward. Eritreans from all walks of life should mobilize, write letters raise funds, and boost the moral of Eritrean troops, officials, and the Eritrean people at large. Our leaders also should feel comfortable about us; they should know they can count on us; that they are human beings not angels and whatever shortcomings or success they register is a reflection of us. We should uphold them, encourage them and make them feel we are more than one hundred percent behind them in all decisions they make. All we should ask of them is vigil, good government, and effective communication with us, their people everywhere.

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2003 Dehai Eritrea Online