saay💜 Profile picture
6 Dec, 30 tweets, 22 min read
#Afroptimistic Sunday: (T)Horn of #Africa Edition

Looking at the #Ethiopia|n War in Tigray & the ensuing carnage--death, dismemberment, displacement--& #Eritrea|s "self-defense" foray, there is not much to be optimistic about, but there could be if we act as Citizens of the Horn
The Horn of #Africa has no citizens, just subjects.

Citizens are free and, collectively, own sovereignty. They hire and fire their leaders.

Subjects are powerless, looking up to The Sovereign, who demands total obedience. Dissent results in disappearance, death, exile.
While this is true of all the nations in the Horn of Africa, this thread is about #Ethiopia and #Eritrea, who have not been able to extricate themselves from wars (declared and undeclared) since at least 1961. It's from the perspective of a member of the #Eritrean opposition....
...which, like all opposition groups in the world is diverse and has varying degrees (muted, loud) of articulating it. This is to say: the loudest voices are not necessarily representative of the prevailing viewpoint of the #Eritrea|n opposition...We are diverse, here's mine:
We are in the #Eritrea|n opposition not because we hate Isaias or his enablers, although its humanly impossible to separate the act from the actor. We oppose to express disapproval for the following reasons:
#Eritrea|n revolution, lest people forget, was launched in 1961 to oppose Imperial #Ethiopia|s abrogation of our rights (converting citizens to subjects). The gov of Isaias Afwerki has reimagined the revolution to be: replace one despot (HSI, Mengistu) with a domestic one...
By words and deeds, the Government of Isaias Afwerki has said that popular sovereignty can wait for decades, the priority is territorial sovereignty, the priority is development, the priority is nation-building, the priority is re-molding & reconfiguration of the State...
This is not an esoteric pol-sci discussion. In real life, implementing this vision in #Eritrea has meant:

* arrests without due process;
* indefinite national service;
* disappearance
* forced labor
* no constitution, election, free press

Resulting in exodus of #Eritrean|s...
No matter the pull factor of #Europe et al., no #Eritrea|n (just like no other #Africa|n) would be exiled at the rate we are if the push factors by a predatory State had not been so horrific a UN-impaneled body catalogued them as crimes against humanity.…
One of the enduring bad habits of the Horn of #Africa is the "winner-takes-it-all" attitude. When the #TPLF & #EPLF marched to #Addis and #Asmara respectively, they pretended they were they only ones that fought for change and criminalized ("5th columnists!") all other voices...
#TPLF ran a one party state in Tigray (29 years and counting) and rule by law (as opposed to rule under law) for 27 years in #Ethiopia, where it assembled its own እንደ-ራሴ (viceroys) to implement its "ethnic federalism" blueprint in the country....
Outside #Ethiopia, #TPLF's role was equally destructive particularly its readiness to expand a skirmish into a full-blown war in #Eritrea (98-00), and its refusal (02-18) to abide by terms of agreement it had signed in front of the international community...
Outside #Eritrea, #PFDJ's role was also equally anti-peace with its trigger-happy foreign policy in #Ethiopia, #Yemen, #Djibouti and its readiness to entangle the country in civil wars of #Congo and #Sudan, and its willingness to be a base for proxy-wars of #UAE & #SaudiArabia...
The emergence of #Ethiopia|s @PMEthiopia in 2018 was supposed to be a reset to all that preceded: henceforth, everything would solved the way civilized people solve problems: in a roundtable, based on the merits of the arguments...
Let's leave to historians whether @AbiyAhmedAli was taunted to a war he did not want or whether, as respectable #Ethiopia|n politicians like Engineer Yilkal Getnet (arrested by Meles Zenawi & Abiy Ahmed) says, (the 2 were on path to war for 2 1/2 years)

What matters now is that #Ethiopia is at war. Not only is it at war, but there is zero constituency for peace in the country: it is enthusiastically at war because it has not gotten over its Winner-Takes-It-All culture. What also matters is we, #Eritrea|ns, are not stakeholders.
But, because we are subjects & not citizens, Gov of Isaias Afwerki has taken #Eritrea all-in in this war. Many of u are skeptical and since I have no satellite images, the only evidence that there is involvement is conversations with #Eritrean|s at home & not insignificantly..
...the article written by Mesfin Hagos. It is not insignificant because Mesfin Hagos is famous (notorious?) for refusing to speculate about things he personally had not witnessed in EPLF, even on subjects he is expected to be an expert on. Still, this is what Mesfin Hagos says:
The #Eritrea|n (and, amazingly, foreign) supporters of the Government of Isaias Afwerki are enthusiastically supporting the war. Not because they expect to see reforms in #Eritrea after "the defeat of Weyane" but because of their perception that this is payback for its crimes...
When you ask them about its crimes, they will tell you about the horrible things the Weyane (#EPRDF and thus @AbiyAhmedAli ) committed to #Eritrea|n civilians in 1998-00. And in truth, a court of law has found the #Ethiopia|ns guilty of having committed atrocious crimes.....
...What remains unsaid is that the #Eritrea|n Gov of Isaias Afwerki had been found guilty of committing equally atrocious crimes in #Ethiopia. This is not "moral equivalence": its narration of history:
Terrible things #Ethiopia|ns under leadership of #TPLF (#EPRDF) did to #Eritrea|ns
Terrible things #Eritrea|ns under leadership of #PFDJ (Isaias Afwerki) did to #Ethiopia|ns
Thus, just as the refusal to enforce the #Eritrea-#Ethiopia Border Commission (EEBC) left a festering wound on #Eritrea|n #Ethiopia|n (#TPLF? #Tigray?) relationship, so did the apathy (by both governments) towards the ruling of the #Eritrea-#Ethiopia Claims Commission.
The opposition I belong to is for one and one thing only: ending the war in #Ethiopia. Because #Ethiopia is a neighbor with deep cultural relations with #Eritrea. Because it destabilizes the region. Because it sends our conscripted soldiers to yet another war....
While #Eritrea|n opposition politicians are licensed to practice their craft (politics) and make judgements on who is ally and who is foe, those of us in civil society (activists) should be forces for peace only. We certainly should not be cheerleaders for one side or another.
In this regard, I have to register the strongest protest possible for some within the #Eritrea|n opposition who have become more enthusiastic supporters of #TPLF than TPLF itself, using strident hate language: and misappropriating Fihira 😡

How hard it is to just call for end to the war? War is, as my favorite version of @AbiyAhmedAli (Version 1.0) said: an outmoded way of resolving disputes. The path forward is what it always was: dialogue and spirit of forgiveness.

Back to #Afroptimism Sunday. In Hegel's philsophy, every thesis has the seeds for the anti-thesis. In HoA "peace agreements", every peace has built-in seed of war. And so it shall be until we have governments which rule with our consent.


• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with saay💜

saay💜 Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @saayEritrea

4 Dec
Mesfin Hagos (founding member of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (#EPLF) in the 1970s who served as Minister of Defense in the 1990s), the most authoritative voice on #Eritrea|n military affairs, reveals the extent of #Eritrean involvement in the #Ethiopia|n war.

(2/18) In an address to his country’s parliament on November 30, 2020, #Ethiopia’s Prime Minister confirmed #Eritrea|n support to his ongoing war against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (#TPLF), the regional government of the northern regional state of Tigray...
(3/18) ... where they were provided shelter and the space and provisions to recuperate. He flew there with three of his generals to reorganize the troops for a counterattack on #Tigray – from #Eritrea.

What Prime Minister Abiy did not tell his audience was the fact that...
Read 18 tweets
23 Feb
(1/10) This is a report card on #Eritrea Prez Isaias Afwerki considered by himself & NNNN as a political architect of the Horn of Africa. From #Somalia, #Sudan, #SouthSudan, #Djibouti, to #Ethiopia, he has wasted #Eritrean treasury grooming satellite orgs. All for nothing.
(2/10) #SouthSudan: The #SPLA had members who were for secession & members for reforming Sudan and remaining part of it. Despite Isaias Afwerki's cries, the secessionist won and they proved it in a referendum where 99% voted for independence. Isaias didn't attend the ceremony.
(3/10) #Darfur Sudan: Although #Eritrea has no border with West Sudan, Isaias inserted himself &, along with #Qatar (now enemy state) conducted a long and useless effort, including hosting armed Darfuri rebels. In the intra #Sudan reconciliation now, he has no role or influence.
Read 15 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!