Ethiopia’s No-Peace-No-War Strategy Against Eritrea Backfired

Breaking Bad: What Ethiopia tried to inflict upon the people and government of Eritrea is happening to itself

By Amanuel Biedemariam,

In May of 2000, Ethiopia waged the most destructive war of aggression against Eritrea.

The TPLF’s failed to control, re-colonizing, and place a puppet government in Eritrea. On the contrary, Eritrea effectively repulsed the TPLF. As it readied to go on the offensive against the TPLF, the US forced the TPLF to sign The Algiers Agreement in 2002 that laid the foundation to determine the final, binding decision based on The Hague Courts ruling ultimately decided the disputed border in favor of Eritrea.

After the Hague made its final and binding verdict public, At first, Ethiopian authorities applauded the decision. The then Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin lied,

All disputed areas have been given to Ethiopia,”

And falsely claimed that the international tribunal at The Hague has decided that Badme, Zelambessa, Ayiga, Erobe, Alitena, and Bada. He claimed Ethiopia was awarded more territories than it asked for.

However, the TPLF quickly changed its mind after realizing the Hague decision favored Eritrea and tried to amend it. The Hague decision is final and binding with no room for amendment. Hence, devised ploys designed to undermine The Hague decision. 

These dances went on for a while. To frustrate the people of Eritrea to rob the people of Eritrea and Ethiopia of opportunities from naturally developing their economies free from hostilities. First, the TPLF accepted the decision. Then said they said they “accept it in principle.” Then rejected the decision altogether and demanded Eritrea must Dialogue to resolve the issue.

Ethiopia undermined International Law with ill-advised US support aiming to undermine Eritrea’s hard-won Independence. The US and Ethiopian agendas colluded for the same objectives with different. The US interests in Eritrea are Eritrea’s strategic geographic location. By allowing Ethiopia to control Eritrea, the US can control Eritrea using a client state Ethiopia. For Ethiopia, it is access to the sea. It is a well-documented historical reality that cost millions of lives dead, displaced, and decades of wars.

The TPLF fought to advance the agenda of Independent Greater Tigray, the Independence of Tigray by exploiting its power, and the Ethiopian people’s ambitions to control Eritrea and gain access to the sea. In an interview with late Paul Henze, the late Meles Zenawi said,

“We look at this from the viewpoint of the interests of Tigre, first, and then Ethiopia as a whole. We know that Tigre needs access to the sea and the only way is through Eritrea …. There are many Tigreans in Eritrea ….. They don’t want to be treated as foreigners there … They have the same history. We are worried about Eritrea because we are not sure that differences among different groups can be kept under control”(Paul B. Henze, Conversations with Meles Zenawi, J3 26/002/92/3 March 31/April 1, 1990)

The TPLF was disadvantaged when it fought the Derg, for it lacked the power and access it could use as a launching pad. The TPLF’s decision to align with the proven Eritrean Liberation struggle led by EPLF was a calculated move with hidden agendas. The TPLF believed that Eritrea’s Independence would not hold because Eritreans are divided and will not have an economy supporting the newfound freedom. The TPLF thought Eritrea would be caught in civil strife based on the ethnic, religious, and regional divide. Therefore, TPLF’s alliance with Eritrea was not genuine; thence, however, going against Eritrea was suicidal. Thence, as soon as it was able, the TPLF, with the support of the US, launched, which turned out to be, a protracted war under the pretext of a border dispute that metastasized to the No-War-No-Peace agenda.

No-War-No-Peace is a continuation of the plan to control Eritrea systematically. Designed to frustrate Eritrea, kill Eritrea’s economy, and divide ethnic, religious, and regional groups in Eritrea. With the support of the US, the TPLF attempted to rob Eritrea of her youth by keeping them on a war front to defend Eritrea from a constant threat of war. They also hoped the youth to turn against the Eritrean government, at best, or flee out of Eritrea. The TPLF and the US created mechanisms to entice youth to escape to Ethiopia and elsewhere. The lure of going to the West through Ethiopia was used as bait to draw youth.

Hundreds of thousands of Eritreans have entered Sudan as refugees spanning decades due to Ethiopia’s oppression. Never have the Sudanese exploited or tried to exploit the people’s plight. The current Ethiopian regime uses the plight of Eritreans far beyond the realities with exaggerations with the hopes of convincing the international community that there exists instability and oppression that drives people out of Eritrea.

While at the same time, the US and Ethiopia continued to scheme against Eritrea to undermine stability and Independence. To that end, they used the UN to sanction Eritrea with fabrications and lies to a) weaken the military b) kill the economy through targeted economic sanctions designed to block Eritrea’s economic progress.

These are misguided miscalculations that failed to put into account the resolve of the people of Eritrea. Around the world, scarcities of goods and services are triggering massive revolts against governments. Eritreans, on the other hand, realize they must sacrifice today to ensure lasting success. Eritreans believe in self-reliance and sacrifices because that is how they won Independence. 

The TPLF and the US miscalculated on many fronts. The US and TPLF failed to understand Eritrean unity and the ability to withstand external pressures. They undermined Eritrea’s strength and exaggerated Ethiopia’s strength and importance. The TPLF miscalculated when it believed Eritrea’s Independence would not hold. It miscalculated when it felt it could undo Eritrea’s Independence by destabilizing Eritrea.

Ethiopia used to use Eritrean ports. However, to strangulate Eritrea economically, Ethiopia refused to use Eritrea’s ports and utilized Djibouti’s ports at a premium. The TPLF cut off all trade between the peoples. Eritrea used to be a big market for Ethiopian farmers.   

After the TPLF cut off ties, Eritreans grew the agricultural products they imported from Ethiopia, bolstering Eritrea’s self-reliance stance while robbing Ethiopian farmers of a significant market.

Ethiopia and the US thought to alienate Eritrea by encircling it. The TPLF and the US, in cooperation with its allies Yemen, Sudan, and Intergovernmental Authority on Development  (IGAD) member states, surrounded Eritrea and tried to suffocate it. They manipulated the Arab League and African Union to condemn Eritrea.

To ignite chaos in Eritrea, Ethiopia organized Eritrean opposition groups and a government in exile to replace the government of Eritrea. The TPLF recruited Jihadists, disgruntled radical elements, religious zealots, corrupt individuals, and the like. The TPLF targeted specific ethnic groups of Eritrea and enticed them to opt for ethnic federalism or Independence from Eritrea. In addition, the TPLF and the US targeted the Diaspora Eritreans, a) to stop them from supporting their government b) and recruited them to work against Eritrea.

All these campaigns and coordination to destroy Eritrea failed. On the contrary, the nations that conspired against Eritrea failed. Chaos has engulfed Yemen, Egypt, and Sudan face civil strife.

Ethiopia finds itself on the brink of civil strife, religious uprisings, rebellion, and ethnic divisions of its own making. The economy is in shambles, corruption is a way of life, and Ethiopia’s children are floating on the shores of Yemen by the thousands every month. In Addis Ababa, demonstration and confrontation with Ethiopian authorities is a weekly event. Unchecked, these developments will plunge Ethiopia into irreversible civil war. By failing to abide by the international agreement it signed with Eritrea, the TPLF  created a chronic state of the conflict engulfing the entire Horn region.

The US used Ethiopia as a stick throughout the region, and Ethiopia became a destabilizing force that caused instability in Somalia and Kenya. These ill-conceived involvements in the area are fueling uncontrollable instability.  

To Conclude:

What the TPLF tried to inflict on Eritrea is happening to Ethiopia itself. Today, saving Ethiopia from itself has become an urgent reality for the US and all concerned. Ethiopians around have realized and are doing all they can to stop the tsunami from washing the nation off the map. In addition, the No-War-No-Peace TPLF waged against Eritrea disrupted or hindered natural exchanges between the peoples of Eritrea and Ethiopia’s historically, culturally, and geographically close people. It denied them peace.

All these entanglements failed to stop Eritrea. On the contrary, it enforced Eritrea’s resilience and Self-Reliance. It helped strengthen the resolve. It became an experience that cleared the region’s clouds and taught Eritrea how the enemies’ operated. A country many predicted to fall in six months is proving them wrong. The process exposed how schemes designed to undermine the sovereignties of African nations work. As a result, Eritrea is the most peaceful and stable country in Africa, a testament to the brilliance of the people and government of Eritrea. Eritrea is rewriting the history of Africa by showing them how to stand. Eritrea is the embodiment and expression of true national strength. It is a citadel fortified with unparalleled unity, brilliance, and power of the mind.

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