Tuesday, 01 September 2020 18:28

Israel and the US seek African allies

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Snubbed by Sudan, Pompeo and Netanyahu scour Africa in search of support ahead of US election.

Despite months of lobbying, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has failed to convince the president of Sudan’s Sovereign Council to recognise Israel or support the Middle East peace plan concocted by Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. This has US and Israeli diplomats busy scrambling for support from other African countries.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, 24 August 2020.US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, 24 August 2020. ©Reuters Marketplace – Latin America News Agency Pictures

It is the diplomatic trick that has eclipsed the opening of embassies in Taiwan by nations looking to reap financial and diplomatic benefits. In an effort to garner as much support as possible for their Middle East peace plan, US President Donald Trump, his son-in-law Jared Kushner and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are searching for countries willing to recognise Israel and its new capital, Jerusalem. And time is running out: the US presidential election is three months away and if, as the polls suggest, the Democratic candidate Joe Biden wins, the Kushner initiative will be quickly forgotten and back to square one.

After securing the United Arab Emirates’ recognition of Israel on 13 August, the US and Israeli diplomats sought the same from Sudan. The transitional government in Khartoum relies heavily on Emirati support and has been lobbied by Israeli envoys since its arrival in power. Alas, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo‘s visit to Khartoum on 25 August was a letdown. Pompeo failed to win round Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who called on the transitional nature of his administration to explain his refusal to take sides in a diplomatic matter of this magnitude.

This resistance from Hamdok and the main figures in the coalition of parties he leads caught Washington and Tel Aviv off guard. The two countries bet everything on the military component of Sudan’s Sovereign Council to get on board, wagering this would be enough to rally the rest. In February, Netanyahu met with General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the president of the Sudan Sovereign Council, in Uganda to lay the groundwork for the country’s recognition of Israel. And less than a fortnight before the Hamdok-Pompeo meeting, General Mohamed Hamdan Dalgo, aka Hemeti, the vice-chair of the transitional government, had met with Israeli emissaries in London.

DRC takes care of diplomatic and financial worries in one fell swoop

To date, the only African leader who has taken the plunge is Congolese president Felix Tshisekedi, who, three months after Kushner presented his peace plan, announced the DRC would be opening an embassy in Tel Aviv and a liaison office in Jerusalem (Africa Intelligence18/03/20). This in effect put an end to the diplomatic and financial problems that the DRC had accrued with the Trump administration under President Joseph Kabila. And the move has left Tshisekedi unscathed on the domestic front: in a predominantly Christian country such as the DRC, the general public is relatively indifferent to Israeli-Palestinian relations. This is also the case for Togo and Cameroon, Israel’s two main allies in Africa.

For his part, Idriss Deby got on board too early in the day to reap the full benefits of opening an embassy in Tel Aviv. The Chadian head of state renewed ties with Israel in January 2019, a year before Kushner’s peace plan was presented. He has now found himself under renewed pressure to announce his support for the initiative and make its most controversial component, namely the appointment of Jerusalem as the capital of the Hebrew state, more pliable. He has yet to make any commitment. Deby’s spymaster General Ahmed Kogri, the head of the national security agency, the ANS, likes to present himself when talking to overseas diplomats as the United States and Israel’s best friend, as detailed by our sister publication Intelligence Online on 22/07/20. This diplomatic posturing is intended to make up for his relative isolation from Chad’s internal affairs, which are overseen by the deputy head of the ANS.

Mauritania refuses to budge

Further to the west, Washington and Israel are still hoping for a turnaround from Mauritania, which had an embassy in Tel Aviv for many years before severing all relations in 2009. Just as the UAE has been able to pressure Sudan, Saudi Arabia, which has shown support for the Kushner peace plan but refuses to recognise Israel, strongly urged President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani to reopen Mauritania’s representation in the Hebrew state (Africa Intelligence13/05/20). However, these efforts were in vain. As an Islamic state, Mauritania feels it has too much reputation to lose and not enough to gain if it were to follow Saudi Arabia’s lead. Its relations with Washington remain strong: in February the country hosted the annual US military exercise Flintlock (Africa Intelligence18/12/19).

The Trump administration’s latest target has been Morocco. Rabat has been historically well disposed towards the Hebrew state but does not have an embassy there. Moroccan-born Israelis are one of the main groups in the country and the kingdom is home to the largest Jewish community of the Maghreb region. King Mohammed VI, like his father Hassan II before him, chairs the Al-Quds Committee of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, which ensures the preservation of Jerusalem’s Arab-Muslim identity: getting him to change track would be a decisive victory for Israel. To tip Rabat in his favour, Kushner was willing to throw in the recognition of Western Sahara as Moroccan territory. Yet Rabat sees Kushner’s offer, which he has repeated several times in recent months, as mere smoke and mirrors. The Western Sahara issue is being overseen by the United Nations and while the US does have a say in the matter it cannot resolve the conflict on its own. Not being able to call all the shots has not stopped a good number of self-appointed “shadow” diplomats from putting forward proposals, some more fanciful or self-serving than others. The latest of these was presented by the French-Moroccan businessman Yariv Elbaz, who has a very small and distant connection to Kushner: Trump’s son-in-law lives in a house in Washington D.C. that was previously occupied by a close friend of Elbaz, the Beninese national Maixent Accrombessi (Africa Intelligence29/06/20).

ክቡር ህዝቢ ኤርትራ!

 ኣብ ታሪኽ ተጋድሎ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ፡ ወሳኒ ተራ እትሕዝ መዓልቲ ባሕቲ መስከረም ምኽንያት ብምግባር፡ ብስም ሰልፊ ዲሞክራሲ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ፡ መሪሕነቱን ኣባላቱን፡ ንመላእ ህዝቢ እንቋዕ ናብ መበል 59 ዓመት ዝኽሪ ምጅማር ተጋድሎና ኣብጽሓኩም ብማለት፡ ናይ ቃልስን ጽንዓትን ሰላምታ አመሓላልፍ።

ጅግና ተጋዳላይ ሓምድ ኢድሪስ ዓዋተ ዝመርሖም ኣዝዮም ውሑዳት ተጋደልቲ፡ ብኣዝዩ ውሑድ ኣጽዋር ተሰንዮም፡ ኣብ ውሱን ቦታታት ኤርትራ ዝጀመርዎ ብረታዊ ቃልሲ፡ ናይ ሰፊሕ ህዝቢ ደገፍን ተሳትፎን ክሕወሶ ብምኽኣሉ፡ ነቲ ኣብ ኣፍሪቃ ሓያል ዝበሃል ዝነበረ ሰራዊት መግዛእቲ ክስዕሮን ናጽነቱ ከረጋግጽን በቒዑ እዩ።

እታ ኣብ ባርካ ኣብ ጎቦታት ኣዳል ብሓደ መስከረም 1961 ዝተወልዐት ንእሽቶ ቁልዒ ሰውራ፡ ንመላእ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ብምኽሳብ፡ ኣብ ሓጺር ዓመታት ናብ ዓቢ ባርዕ ማዕቢላ፡ ዘይምሕር ጸረ መግዛእታዊ ሃላሃልታ ሰውራ ኰይና እያ። እቶም ሸፋቱ፡ እቶም ውሑዳት ሰብ ብረት፡ እናተባህሉ ብምቁንጻብ ዝስመዩ ዝነበሩ ጀጋኑ ተጋደልቲ፡ ነቲ ብዘመናዊ ኣጽዋር ዝተዓጥቀ፡ ብሓይልታት መሬትን ባሕርን ኣየርን ዝደልደለ፣ ዓቢ ኣህጉራዊ ደገፍ ምዕራብን ምብራቕን ዝነበሮ፣ ብኣሽሓት ዝቑጸር ሰራዊት፡ ነቕነቕ ከብልዎ፡ ኣብ መወዳእታ ድማ ክስዕርዎ ክኢሎም እዮም። እዚ ሰውራ’ዚ ብቅደም ተኸተል እናተተኻኽአ ብ1991 ዓወት ዘርጋገጸ ሰውራ እዩ።

ካብ ጅግና ሓምድ ኢድሪስ ዓዋተ ጀሚሩ ዝተኸፍለ መስዋእቲ፣ ዝተረኽበ ስንክልና፡ ከምኡውን ዝተወፈየ ጉልበታውን ንዋታውን ኣበርክቶ መላእ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ፣ እቲ ዝበሃግናዮ፡ ኣስሊጡ እዩ’ሞ፣ ነቶም ምእንቲ’ዛ ሃገር ምእንቲ’ዚ ህዝቢ ዝተሰውኡ ዘልኣለማዊ ዝኽሪ፣ ነቶም ዓቢ ዋጋ ዝኸፈሉ’ውን ዓቢ ክብሪ ይብጻሓዮም።

እወ! ስላቲ ብባሕቲ መስከረም ዝተወልዐ ቁልዒ ሰውራ፡ ነቲ ዝንብርከኽ ዘይመስል ዝነበረ ስርዓት ኣንበርኪኽና ኢና። ሳላ ባሕቲ መስከረም ኤርትራዊ ህዝባዊ ሓድነትና ኣማሊእና ናጽነትና’ውን ኣረጋጊጽና ኢና። 

ግንከ ድሕሪ ናጽነት ጸገም ዝረኸብና ህዝቢ ኢና።

ከም ህዝቢ ደጊም ውዲእና፡ ሰላም ክነግስ፡ ሃገር ክትዕምብብ፡ ሩፍታ ድማ ክመጽእ’ዩ ኢልና።  ብሓቂ ውዱእ ዓወት ዘረጋገጽና መሲሉና ተገሪህና። እቶም ዝኣመንናዮም፣ ኩሉ ዓቕምና እንከላይ ህይወትና ዝሃብናዮም፣ ስለ ረብሓኦም ክብሉ ጠሊሞምና።  ተታሊልና፡ ተጋሂስና።  ድሕር’ቲ ዝተጨበጠ ናጽነት፡ ናጽነት ተሳኢኑ።  እታ ደቃ ዝኸፈለት ኣደ ተሓቢኣ ጸላም ተኸዲና ንድራር ዕለታ ክትልምን ተራእያ። እቲ ሕቡን ኣቦ፡ ኣብዚ ኣትዩ ከይተባህለ ተሰዊሩ፣ እታ መርዓት እቲ መርዓዊ፡ ነታ ኤርትራዊት መባእታዊት ስድራቤት ከይሃንጹ፡ ካብ ዳስ ናብ ኣገልግሎት ክጓረቱ ተራእዮም። ጾታዊ ዓመጽ ሳዕሪሩ። እታ መንእሰይ ክብረ ድንግልናኣ ተደፊራ። እቲ መንእሰይ ሕልናኡ ክሳብ ዝዓርብ ተቐጥቂጡ።  ኣብያተ ማእሰርቲ ካብ ኣብያተ ትምህርቲ በዚሑ። ህዝብና ብሓፈሻ ጾታን ዕድመን ብዘይፈሊ፡ ወዲ ሾብዓተ ይኹን ወዲ ሰብዓ ናብ ስደት ኣምሪሑ። ኣብ ጉዕዞ ስደት ከኣ ኣካላት መንእሰያትና ከም መለዋወጢ ኣቕሓ ኣብ ዕዳጋ ወሪዱ። ኣደን ህጻናን ኣብታ እትጥሕል መርከብ ዕትብቲ ከይተበትከ ከም ሓደን ከም ክልተን እንከለዉ ጥሒሎም።  ብሓጺሩ ነቲ ሓድሽ ህይወት ምስ ወላዲቱ ሞት ተቐቢላቶ።  ብዛዕባ ህይወት ኣብ ትሕቲ ምልኪ እንታይ ዘይተሰምዐ እንታይ’ከ ዘይተገብረ። ሃገር ክትነብራ ናብ እትፍራሕ ሲኦል ተቐይራ። ኤርትራዊ ህይወት ሞት እናንጸላልዎ ተጓዒዙ። ታሪኽ ላምፐዱዛ ካብ ኣእምሮና ክሕከኽ ዘይክእል መሪር ስምብራት ዝገደፈ ኣብነት እዩ።  

ሕጂ ድማ፡ ጉዳይ ልዑላውነትን ናጽነትን ኣብ ሓደጋ ከእቱ ዝኽእል ንሕቶ ናጽነት ከም ብሓድሽ ንድሕሪት ዝመልስ ወስታታት ንርኢ ኣሎና። ለካስ ኣብቲ ዕለተ ናጽነት እውን ተዘናጊዕና’ምበር ቃልሲ’ስ ኣይወዳእናን ኢና ኔርና።  ሓርነታዊ ቃልሲ ብኡንብኡ ክጅምር ነይርዎ። ግን ኩሉ ግዜ ተታሊልካ ኣይንበርን እዩ።  ጸላእትና ኣለሊና ኣሎና’ሞ ሕጂ’ውን ኣብ ሓርነታዊ ቃልሲ ተጸሚድና ክንቅጽል ኢና።  

ዝኽሪ ባሕቲ መስከረም ብምሕዳስ ቃልሲ ንሓርነት ክንጐዓዞ ኢና።  

እቲ ዝጠለመና ስርዓት ድማ ከምኡ ኢሉ ክነብር ኣይክእልን እዩ። ኣብ ደንደስ ውድቀቱ ኣሎ። ህዝብና ነቲ ስርዓት ኣለልይዎ ኣሎ። ፖሊቲካዊ ውድባትና፡ ንካልኣዊ ፍልልያት ሰጊረን ብምውህሃድ ብሓንሳብ ክሰርሓ ኣዊጀን ኣለዋ። ምንቅስቓስ ይኣክልን፡ ሲቪላዊ ማሕበራትን ተጣበቕቲ መሰል ደቂ ሰባትን፡ ነዚ ጨቋኒ ስርዓት ንምውዳቕ ጸሚደን ኣለዋ። እዚ ምልክት ሕብረት ናይ ደለይቲ ፍትሒ እዩ። ቅድም ኣብ መድረኽ ናጽነታዊ ቃልሲ እውን እንተዀነ፡ እቲ ዝሰዓረ፡ ሓጺንን ብዝሒ ሰራዊትን ኣይኰነን፡ ህዝብን ስሙር ድሌቱን እዩ።   

ዘይፈርስ ህዝባዊ ሓድነት፡ ዘይሰዓር ሕልናን ተወፋይነትን ሕጂ’ውን ተዓዋቲ እዩ። ንሓርነታዊ ቃልሲ ንጽመድ።

ብእምነትና፡ ሓርነታዊ ዕወት ኣብ ልዳት በጺሑ እዩ። ቁሩብ ዝያዳ ንድፋእ እቲ ስርዓት ከምቶም ዝወደቑ መስልቱ ክወድቕ እዩ። እቲ ስርዓት ከምቶም ሓያላት ዝመስሉ ግን ብውሽጦም ዝበኽበኹ፡ በክቢኹ እዩ። እቲ ስርዓት ኣብ ቅድሚ ስሙር ህዝባዊ ሓይሊ፡ ስም እምበር ሓይሊ የብሉን።

ዓወት ንሓርነታዊ ቃልሲ!

ውድቀት ንምልኪ!

ዘልኣለማዊ ዝኽሪ ንስዉኣት ኤርትራ!


1 መስከረም 2020

OVER SAUDI ARABIA (Reuters) - High above a vast expanse of desert the Israeli pilot’s voice broke through the passengers’ chatter on Monday to announce that the plane had just crossed into Saudi airspace.

Senior U.S. Presidential Adviser Jared Kushner and U.S. National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien pose with members of the Israeli-American delegation in front of the El Al's flight LY971, which will carry the delegation from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi at Ben Gurion Airport, near Tel Aviv, Israel August 31, 2020. Menahem Kahana/Pool via REUTERS

Members of the Israeli and U.S. delegations paused for a light ripple of applause, as food carts moved through the aisle with barely enough room to squeeze past the throng of White House aides, officials and journalists.

El Al flight LY971, the first Israeli direct flight from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi, had just made aviation history by flying over Saudi territory en route to U.S.-brokered normalisation talks between Israel and the Emirates.

Security had been tight in advance - the route had been kept under wraps by officials for as long as possible, even though the schedule of the flight all but confirmed that it would pass over Saudi territory — an alternative route would have doubled the flying time.

And even before take-off, when traveling reporters arrived for COVID-19 testing they were given a code-phrase — “I’m here for the ‘experiment’” — to be fast-tracked through by the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Wishing us all salaam, peace and shalom, have a safe flight,” Captain Tal Becker told the passengers in Arabic, English and Hebrew - matching the words painted above the cockpit window - as they boarded at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport in the morning.

The delegates included President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. U.S. national security adviser Robert O’Brien and his Israeli counterpart, Meir Ben-Shabbat. All sat cheek by jowl with agents from the U.S. Secret Service and Israel’s Shin Bet domestic security agency. Netanyahu himself delivered a mid-flight message to mark the occasion.

A spokesman for El Al said the plane was equipped with a C-Music anti-missile system on its rear carriage — standard for the 737s in the carrier’s fleet.

As the aircraft passed over Oman and approached the UAE - an unusually indirect route, perhaps to keep away from Iran on the other side of the Gulf - passengers took photographs and video of the coastline beneath them.

Then after three hours and 20 minutes, the Boeing 737 touched down in Abu Dhabi and came to a halt, ready for the red carpet reception by Emirates officials. Protocol over, the politics could begin.


AUGUST 31, 2020  NEWS

Belessa, just outside Asmara, was one of the first mission stations in the highland run by the Swedish Evangelical Mission.
Belessa is a small hill close to the mainroad to Keren. It consisted of a school, with boarding facilities  and a church.
Nowadays the school is run by the government, but there is still a church in Belessa as well as a small congregation.
Belessa also has a small study centre for training in theology, something which is a great challenge for the Evangelical lutheran church to keep running, since so many students are away on military service.
The Swedish church cooperates with independent churches, Christian councils and other partners in EthiopiaIndiaMalawi, the Sudan and Tanzania as well as Eritrea.

ጉጅለ ህግድፍ ኣብ ዝምድናዊ መዳይ ካብ ዝልለየሎም ተግባራት፡ ኣብ ሓጺር ግዜ ስልጣኑ ምስ ኩለን ጐረባብቲ ሃገራት ኣብ ውግእ ምእታዉ እዩ። ምስ ገሊአን ካብተን ጐረባብትና ሃገራት፡ ካብ ሓደ ግዜ ንላዕሊ ከም ዝተዋግአ ኩልና ዘይንርሰዖ እዩ። እዚ ጉጅለ ኣብ ዝተወሰነ ግዜ ምስ ኩለን እዘን ዝተዋግአን  ሃገራት ናይ ሓጺር ግዜ ፍቕሪ ከም ዝነበሮ ኣብ መስርሕ ዝተዓዘብናዮ እዩ። ካብ ናይቲ ምስ ጐረባብቲ ሃገራት ዝተኻየደ ውግኣት ጠንቅታት፡ እቲ ቀንዲ ናይቲ ጉጅለ ኣደልዲሉ ዘይረገጸ መሕደሲ ግዝያዊ ጠቕሚ ዝቕርም ስንኩፍ ዲፕሎማሲያዊ ስልቲ እዩ።

ብግብሪ ክንርእዮ ከም ዝጸናሕናን ዘለናን፡ ዝምድና ጉጅለ ህግዲፍ ምስ ናይ ርሑቕ ይኹን ናይ ቀረባ ሃገራት ቀልጢፉ ዝፈሽል፡ ክስረት እንከሎ እውን፡ ብትዕግስትን ኣርሒቕካ ምርኣይን  ዘይተነድቀ፡ ናይ ህዝቢ ረብሓ ዘየቐድም ስለ ዝነበረ እዩ ዘበርዕን። እዚ ጉጅለ ዝምስርቶ ዝምድናታት ኩሉ እንተተዓዚብና ኣብ ኣዝዩ ጸቢብ ናቱ ረብሓኡ ዝተሰረተ እዩ። ኣብቲ መጀመርያ ግዜ ድሕሪ ናጽነት ኤርትራ ምስ የመን ጽቡቕ ዝምድና ነይርዎ። እቲ ጉጅለ ነዚ ተጠቒሙ ሓያሎ ኣብ ቤተመንግስቲ ዘገልግላ ዘመናዊ ተሽከርከርቲ ካብ መንግስቲ የመን ከም ዝረኸበ ኣብቲ ሽዑ እዋን ዝዝረብ ዝነበረ  እዩ። እዚ “ዝበለዓሉ ጻሕሊ ዝሰብር”  ጉጅለ ጸቢብ ረብሓኡ ምስ ጐደሎን ዓቕሉ ምስ ጸበቦን ከኣ ነቲ ዝምድና ኣዳኺምዎ ጥራይ ዘይኮነ፡ ናብ ውግእ እውን ኣትዩ። ደሓር ኣብ ቅድሚ ቤት ፍርዲ ቀሪቡ ተረቲዑ ንደሰታት ሓንሽ ኣረኪቡ መልሓሱ ሓይኹ።

ጉጅለ ህግዲፍ ምስ ኢህወደግ ካብ ግዜ ቃልሲ ኣንጻር ደርግ ዝነበሮ  ዝምድና መዝሚዙ፡ ምስ ኢትዮጵያ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ዘይርበሓሉ፡ ዘይፈልጦን ዘይሕጋውን ዘይትካላውን ንግዲ (ኮንትሮ ባንድ) የካይድ ነይሩ። ከም ውጽኢት ናይዚ ከኣ ናይ ኢትዮጵያ ቡን፡ ሰሊጥን ወርወር ቀላሚጦስን ናይ ኤርትራ ኣምሲሉ ናብ ዝተፈላለያ ሃገራት ልኢኹ ካዝናኡ የሰውድ ነይሩ። እዚ ኣብቲ እዋኑ ኣብ ኢትዮጵያውያን ዝፈጠሮ ቅርሕንቲ ቀሊል ኣይነበረን። ምንቅስቓስ እቲ ጉጅለ ኣብ ኢትዮጵያ፡ ምስ ረብሓን ራኢን ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ዘይከይድ፡ ኣብ ህልኽን ሕነ ምፍዳይን ዝተመርኮሰ ምንባሩ፡ ኣብ ኢትዮጵያ ኣብ ልዕሊ ብዙሓት ንመሰል ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ዝቃለሱ ዝነበሩ ተጋደልትን ንጹሃት ኤርትራውያንን ናይ ቅንጸላ ስጉምቲ ወሲዱ እዩ። ብሰንክዚ ናይ ህግዲፍ ዕንደራ ኣብ ኢትዮጵያ ዝተኣስሩ፡ ዝተቐትሉ፡ ዝተጨውዩን ዝተሰጉን ብዙሓት እዮም። ነፍሰ-ሄራት ተስፋሚካኤል ጆርጆ፡ ገብረብርሃን ዘርኣን ዝካርያስ ንጉሰን ከኣ ናይዚ ግዳይ ኣብነት እዮም።

እዚ ጥራይ ኣይኮነን፡ ጉጅለ ህግዲፍ ኣብቲ ብናይ ኢትዮጵያ ገንዘብ ብር ዝጥቀመሉ ዝነበረ ግዜ፡ ኣብ ኢትዮጵያ ሓደ ዶላር ብ5 ብር ክሽረፍ እንከሎ፡ ኣብ ኤርትራ ከኣ ከምቲ “ብዕራይሲ ዝበልዖ ሳዕሪ እምበር ዝጽበዮ ገደል ኣይርእን እዩ” ዝበሃል፡ ሳዕቤኑ ብዘይምስትውዓል፡ ሓደ ዶላር ብ7 ብር ይሽረፍ ነይሩ። ብዘይካዚ ናይ ኤርትራ ገንዘብ ናቕፋ ተሓቲሙ ኣብ ዕዳጋ  ምስ ኣተወ “ክልቲኡ ናቕፋን ብርን ብማዕረ ሚዛን ኣብ ክልቲኡ ሃገራት ክሰርሕ ኣለዎ” ዝብል በይናዊ መደምደምታ በጺሑ፡ ንመንግስቲ ኢትዮጵያ እውን ክቕበሎ ከገድዶ ፈቲኑ። “እዚ ኣይከውንን እዩ” ምስ ተባህለ ከኣ ነቲ ተረኽቦ ጸይሩ፡ ብናይ “እሂን ምሂን” መስርሕ ክፈትሖ ዘኽእል ትዕግስቲ ስለ ዘይነበሮ፡ ናብቲ ዝለመዶ ዕብድብድን ንፍልልይ ብጐንጺ ናይ ምፍታሕን ጽላለኡ ኣትዩ፡ ውግእ ከፊቱ ተሳዒሩ ከኣ። እዚ ኩሉ ተደሚሩ ዘርኣየና እምበኣር፡ ናይ ኩሉቲ ውግኣት ጠንቂ ጸቢብ ረብሓ ናይቲ ጉጅለ ኮይኑ፡ እቲ ክዋጋእን ክሳራ ውግእ ክስከምን ዝጸንሐ ግና ህዝቢ ኤርትራ እዩ። ኢሳያስ ግና እቲ ናይ ህዝቢ ክሳራ ክሳራኡ ስለ ዘይኮነን፡ ነዚ እውን ኣብ ማእከል ኣዲስ ኣበባ ደጋጊሙ ኣፍልቡ እንዳወቐዐ “ኣይከሰርናን” ኢልዎ።

 ድሕሪቲ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ “ከምዚ እዩ” ኢልካ ክትጽብጽቦ ዘጸግም ዝኸሰረሉ፡ ኢሳያስ ግና ኣይከሰርናሉን ዝበሎ ውግእ ኤርትራን ኢትዮጵያን፡ ቅድሚ ክልተ ዓመታት ኣብ መንጎ ዲክታቶር ኢሳያስን ቀዳማይ ሚኒስተር ኢትዮጵያ ዶ/ር ኣብይ ኣሕመድን ኣዝዩ ውዕዉዕ ዝመስል ዕርክነትን ወደኽደኽን ተራእዩ። ንሓያሎ ተጋላባጢ ባህርያት ኢሳያስ ክከታተሉ ዘይጸንሑ ወገናት እውን ኣዕሽይዎም እዩ። እዚ ናይ ቅድሚ ክልተ ዓመታት ናይ ኢሳያስ ተበግሶ፡ ከምቲ ልማዱ ረብሓን ክብርን ህዝብን ሃገርን ኤርትራ ዘበገሶ ከም ዘይነበረ ብግብሪ ዝረአ ዘሎ፡ ፈሊሑ ዝገረረ ሓቂ እዩ። ከም ውጽኢት ናይዚ ዳንኬራ ዝተወቕዓሉን ንሕና ግና “ኣየ እንቀዓ መሸላ ዘይውደኣ ይመስላ” ዝበልናዮን ዝምድና ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ኣብ ኩሉ መዳይ ህይወቱ ዘይተጠቕመሉን ተዓጽዩ ዝነበረ ኣፍደገታት ሕጂ’ውን ዕጽዊ ምህላዉን ግብራዊ ምስክር እዩ። ኢሳያስ ቀንዲ ነዚ  ዝምድና ምስ ዶ/ር ኣብይ ዝጐየየሉ ምኽንያት፡ ነቲ ኣብ መንጎ ማእከላይ መንግስቲ ኢትዮጵያን ክልላዊ መንግስቲ ትግራይ ዝተፈጥረ ኢትዮጵያዊ ውሽጣዊ ምስሕሓብ መዝሚዙ ናይ ውልቁ ዝናን ሕነ  ምፍዳይን ህንጡይነቱ ንምርኣይ ጥራይ እዩ ነይሩ። እሞ ሰሚርሉዶ ኣይሰመረሉን፡ ውጽኢቱ እዚ ንዕዘቦ ዘለና ናይ ኢሳያስ ቀንፈዘው’ዩ።

ኣብቲ ዝምድና ዝፈጠረሉ እዋን መሪሕ ጭረሖ ንቕሎ ኢሳያስ ናብ ኢትዮጵያ “ናይ ወያነ ጸወታ ተወዲኡ (game is over)“ ዝብል ምንባሩ ጥራይ ክሳብ ክንደይ እቲ ደፋኢ ምኽንያት ቅርሕንቲ፡ ኣብ ዘይጉዳይካ ምእታውን ሕነ ምፍዳይን እምበር፡ ረብሓ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ምዕቃብ ከምዘይነበረ ምርዳእ ይከኣል። ከምቲ “ተጋግዮም የጋግዩኻ” ዝበሃል፡ ኢሳያስ ንርእሱ ግጉይ መንገዲ መሪጹስ፡  ነቲ ጥዑይ ሰብ መሲልዎ ምስኡ ዝተዓራረኸ ዶ/ር ኣብይ ኣሕመድ እውን ኣጋግዩ፡ ኣብ ዘይምልከቶ ጉዳይ ኤርትራ ዘይዝረብ ኣዛሪብዎን ዘይክተም ኣኸቲምዎን። እዚ ከይኣክል ብኣዝዩ ዕሙት ኣመዛዝና “ኢሳያስን ምምሕዳሩን ናይ ልምዓትን ሰላምን’ዩ” ክሳብ ምባል ግጉይ ምስክርነት ኣብጺሑ ኣብ ትዕዝብቲ ብዙሓት ንኢሳያስ ዝፈልጡ ኣውዲቕዎ። ከምቲ “ደድሕሪ ኣድጊ ዝኸደስ ህላ እንተዘይለመደ …… ለመደ” ዝበሃል፡ ወዮ ኢሳያስ ደኾን በቲ ኣብ ግዜ ዕርክነቶም ኣብ ኢትዮጵያ ዝነበረ ገለ ለውጥታት ይጽለው ዝበሃል ዝነበረ ግምት፡ ብግልባጡ ኮይኑ ዶ/ር ኣብይ ብኢሳያሳዊ ኣበሳ ናይ ምጽላው ምልክት ምርኣዩ ዘገርም ኮይኑ ኣሎ።

ኣብዘን ዝሓለፋ ክልተ ዓመታት፡ ቀንዲ ኣዕሩኽ ኢሳያስ ካብ ዝጸንሑ መንግስታት፡ ሕቡራት ኢማራት ዓረብ ብኣብነት እትጥቀስ እያ። ኣብዚ ቀረባ መዓልታት ብማዕከናት ዜና ይስማዕ ከም ዘሎ፡ መንግስቲ ሕቡራት ኢማራት ዓረብ ኣብ ከባቢ ወደብ ዓሰብ ብዓጸቦ ይልለዉ ንዘለዉ ዜጋታትና ሓገዝ ልኢኻስ፡ ምምሕዳር ህግዲፍ ነቲ ሓገዝ ከምቲ እኩይ ልማዱ ተሓሲምዎ። ወያ ሓገዝ ዝጸዓነት መርከብ ከኣ ተመሊሳ ዝብል ወረ ይናፈስ ኣሎ። እዚ ከኣ ሓድሽ ናይ “ጥዕም ግድፍ ዝምድና ህግዲፍ“ ኣብነት እዩ።

Monday, 31 August 2020 19:47

Liberty Magazine Issue #64

Written by
Monday, 31 August 2020 19:40

Liberty Magazine Issue #64

Written by

Bi-monthly English Organ of the Eritrean People's Democratic Party

“To [the Saudis] or even to Abiy, it’s like we’re ants. When we die, it’s as if an ant died, no one cares or pays attention,” the man added, referring to Ethiopia’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Source: Daily Telegraph

‘The guards just throw the bodies out back as if it was trash,’ said one

African migrants held in detention centres in Saudi Arabiahttps://i2.wp.com/eritreahub.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Africans-Saudi-1.jpeg?resize=300%2C188&ssl=1 300w, https://i2.wp.com/eritreahub.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Africans-Saudi-1.jpeg?resize=768%2C481&ssl=1 768w, https://i2.wp.com/eritreahub.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Africans-Saudi-1.jpeg?w=1280&ssl=1 1280w" sizes="(max-width: 840px) 100vw, 840px" data-recalc-dims="1" style="box-sizing: inherit; border: 0px; max-width: 100%; height: auto; clear: both; display: block; margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto; margin-bottom: 1em; text-align: center;">
“Plenty of inmates are suicidal or suffering from mental illnesses as a result of living this for five months,” said one prisoner 
“Plenty of inmates are suicidal or suffering from mental illnesses as a result of living this for five months,” said one prisoner  CREDIT: Telegraph exclusive

Saudi Arabia, one of the wealthiest countries on earth, is keeping hundreds if not thousands of African migrants locked in heinous conditions reminiscent of Libya’s slave camps as part of a drive to stop the spread of Covid-19, an investigation by The Sunday Telegraph has found.

Graphic mobile phone images sent to the newspaper by migrants held inside the detention centres show dozens of emaciated men crippled by the Arabian heat lying shirtless in tightly packed rows in small rooms with barred windows.

One photo shows what appears to be a corpse swathed in a purple and white blanket in their midst. They say it is the body of a migrant who had died of heatstroke and that others are barely getting enough food and water to survive.

Another image, too graphic to publish, shows a young African man hanged from a window grate in an internal tiled wall. The adolescent killed himself after losing hope, say his friends, many of whom have been held in detention since April.

The migrants, several displaying scars on their backs, claim they are beaten by guards who hurl racial abuse at them. “It’s hell in here. We are treated like animals and beaten every day,” said Abebe, an Ethiopian who has been held at one of the centres for more than four months.

“If I see that there is no escape, I will take my own life. Others have already,” he added via an intermediary who was able to communicate on a smuggled phone.“My only crime is leaving my country in search of a better life. But they beat us with whips and electric cords as if we were murderers.”

The images and testimony have sparked outrage among human rights activists, and have particular resonance in light of the global Black Lives Matter protests.

“Photos emerging from detention centres in southern Saudi Arabia show that authorities there are subjecting Horn of Africa migrants to squalid, crowded, and dehumanising conditions with no regard for their safety or dignity,” said Adam Coogle, deputy director of Human Rights Watch in the Middle East, after being shown the images by The Sunday Telegraph.

“The squalid detention centres in southern Saudi Arabia fall well short of international standards. For a wealthy country like Saudi Arabia, there’s no excuse for holding migrants in such deplorable conditions,” Mr Coogle added.

Oil-rich Saudi Arabia has long exploited migrant labour from Africa and Asia. In June 2019, an estimated 6.6m foreign workers made up about 20 per cent of the Gulf nation’s population, most occupying low paid and often physically arduous jobs.

The migrants work mainly in construction and manual domestic roles that Saudi nationals prefer not to do themselves. Many are from South Asia, but a large contingent come from the Horn of Africa, which lies across the Red Sea.

The detention centres identified by The Sunday Telegraph house mainly Ethiopian men and there are said to be others packed with women.

Over the last decade, tens of thousands of young Ethiopians have made their way to the Gulf state, often aided by Saudi recruitment agents and people traffickers, in a bid to escape poverty back home.

They have been trapped partly as a result of the pandemic but also by the ‘Saudization’ of the kingdom’s workforce, a policy introduced by Muhamad Bin Salman, the Crown Prince who took power three years ago.

Dozens of emaciated men crippled by the Arabian heat inside one of Saudi Arabia's detention centres
Dozens of emaciated men crippled by the Arabian heat inside one of Saudi Arabia’s detention centres CREDIT: Telegraph exclusive

The testimonies gathered by The Sunday Telegraph directly from migrants on encrypted channels about the conditions they now find themselves in are harrowing.

“Plenty of inmates are suicidal or suffering from mental illnesses as a result of living this for five months,” said one. “The guards mock us, they say ‘your government doesn’t care, what are we supposed to do with you?”

“A young boy, about sixteen, managed to hang himself last month. The guards just throw the bodies out back as if it was trash,” said another.

When the pandemic struck in March, the Saudi government in the capital Riyadh feared the migrants, who are often housed in overcrowded conditions, would act as vectors for the virus.

Almost 3,000 Ethiopians were deported by the Saudi security services back to Ethiopia in the first ten days of April and a leaked UN memo said a further 200,000 were to follow.  A moratorium was then placed on the deportations after international pressure was brought to bear on Riyadh.

The Sunday Telegraph has found many of the migrants who were slated for deportation five months ago have been left to rot in disease-ridden detention centres.  “We have been left to die here,” said one, who said he has been locked in a room the size of a school classroom and not been outside since March.

“Covid19? Who knows?, he added, “There are a lot of diseases here. Everyone is sick here; everyone has something.”

The images smuggled out show many of those held are plagued by disfiguring skin infections. They claim they have received no medical treatment.

“We eat a tiny piece of bread in the day and rice in the evening. There’s almost no water, and the toilets are overflowing. It spills over to where we eat. The smell, we grow accustomed to. But there’s over a hundred of us in a room, and the heat is killing us,” said another young Ethiopian man.

A short video clip smuggled out shows several rooms covered with filth from an overflowing squat toilet. One Ethiopian man can be heard shouting out: “The toilets are clogged. We tried unblocking them, but we’re unable to. So we live in this filth, we sleep in it too.”

“To [the Saudis] or even to Abiy, it’s like we’re ants. When we die, it’s as if an ant died, no one cares or pays attention,” the man added, referring to Ethiopia’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Saudi Arabia is deeply stratified by race and cast. African migrants enjoy few legal rights and many complain of exploitation, sexual and racial abuse from employers.

New laws further limiting the rights and employment prospects of foreign labourers were introduced in 2013 and crackdowns have continued under the rule of the young Crown Prince Muhamad Bin Salman, who took power in 2017.

The Sunday Telegraph was able to geolocate two of the centres. One is in Al Shumaisi, near the holy city of Mecca and one is in Jazan, a port town near Yemen. There are believed to be others housing thousands of Ethiopians.

Migrants in each of the centres said there were hundreds of them in each room. Satellite imagery shows there are several buildings at both centres, meaning there may be far more migrants in each centre who are uncontactable.

Several of the migrants said they had been rounded up from their homes in various Saudi Arabian cities before being placed in the camps. Others are African refugees from war-torn Yemen.

Earlier this month, Human Rights Watch reported that Houthi forces used Covid-19 as a pretext to expel thousands of Ethiopian migrants into neighbouring Saudi Arabia.

Testimonies gathered by the NGO say that the Houthis killed dozens of Ethiopians and forced others at gunpoint over the Saudi border. Saudi border guards then fired on the fleeing migrants, killing dozens more.

“Saudi Arabia, a wealthy country, has long held undocumented migrants including many from the Horn of Africa in conditions that are so crowded, unsanitary, and appalling that migrants often emerge traumatised or sick,” said Mr Coogle.

“It’s fair to question whether Saudi authorities are purposefully allowing these detention conditions to exist in order to punish migrants,” he added.

The Sunday Telegraph approached the Saudi Arabian embassy in London for comment but had not received any at the time of going to press.

A representative of the Ethiopian government in the Middle East was also unsuccessfully approached for comment.

*Migrants’ names have been changed to protect their identity 


Abiy Ahmed came to power promising radical reform, but 180 people have died amid ethnic unrest in Oromia state

Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, centre, arrives at an African Union summit in Addis Ababa in July.

Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, centre, arrives at an African Union summit in Addis Ababa in July. Photograph: AP

Ethiopia faces a dangerous cycle of intensifying internal political dissent, ethnic unrest and security crackdowns, observers have warned, after a series of protests in recent weeks highlighted growing discontent with the government of Abiy Ahmed, a Nobel peace prize winner.

Many western powers welcomed the new approach of Abiy, who took power in 2018 and promised a programme of radical reform after decades of repressive one-party rule, hoping for swift changes in an emerging economic power that plays a key strategic role in a region increasingly contested by Middle Eastern powers and China. He won the peace prize in 2019 for ending a conflict with neighbouring Eritrea.

The most vocal unrest was in the state of Oromia, where there have been waves of protests since the killing last month of a popular Oromo artist and activist, Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, in Addis Ababa, the capital. An estimated 180 people have died in the violence, some murdered by mobs, others shot by security forces. Houses, factories, businesses, hotels, cars and government offices were set alight or damaged and several thousand people, including opposition leaders, were arrested.


Further protests last week prompted a new wave of repression and left at least 11 dead. “Oromia is still reeling from the grim weight of tragic killings this year. These grave patterns of abuse should never be allowed to continue,” said Aaron Maasho, a spokesperson for the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission.

The Oromo community have long felt excluded from power and the benefits of Ethiopia’s booming economy. The Oromo protest movement gained momentum from 2015 and contributed to the appointment of Abiy, an Oromo from the ruling party, who promised democracy and prosperity for all.

“We are seeing a continuation of that movement, and also signs that the government’s response will be equally forceful. Once people are shot and arrested then that becomes a rallying cry,” said William Davison, an analyst based in Addis Ababa for the International Crisis Group.

The decision to indefinitely delay elections due later this year because of coronavirus – which has caused 600 deaths in the country of 100 million so far – has also worried diplomats and other international observers.

The protests in Oromia last week began amid claims that Jawar Mohammed, an Oromo opposition politician and one of Abiy’s most outspoken critics, was being denied medical attention in prison.

Young protesters described being “hunted down, shot in the streets” in the Oromia town of Aweday.

“Soldiers shot at us so I ran as fast as I could. I witnessed people getting shot in the back as they fled,” said Kedir, who took part in a demonstration on Tuesday.

Haacaaluu Hundeessaa performing in Addis Ababa in July 2018.
Haacaaluu Hundeessaa performing in Addis Ababa in July 2018. He was known for his activism and political lyrics. Photograph: EPA

Aliyyi Mohammed, a 22-year-old from Hirna, was taken to hospital after being shot in the thigh on Monday. Relatives said he had been “nowhere near” the protests when injured and now feared for his safety. “There are police waiting outside the hospital … We have heard that they want to arrest him as soon as he’s recovered. We can only pray they leave him alone,” said a member of the family who requested anonymity.

Officials have denied such claims. “There has been violence, but we are yet to confirm reports of any killings by state forces,” said Getachew Balcha of the Oromia region’s communication affairs office.

But claims of mistreatment by security forces are fuelling the cycle of unrest in Oromia. Graphic images of 21-year-old Durassa Lolo were widely shared on social media after relatives claimed he had been tortured in the town of Asasa by soldiers who had asked him for his name.

“My brother did nothing wrong. When they heard an Oromo-sounding name, his fate was sealed. They took him to a military camp and inflicted on him unbelievable savagery. [He] is fighting for his life in hospital. This is why there are protests. The government sees us as expendable,” Durassa’s brother, Abdisa Lolo, said.

The government says Haacaaluu was murdered by Oromo nationalist militants as part of a wider plot to derail its reform agenda. The ruling party has also suggested that its rival in the northern region of Tigray, the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), masterminded the conspiracy. The TPLF dominated the ruling coalition until Abiy took office. It has since joined the opposition, accusing the prime minister of planning to replace the ethnic-based federal system with a more centralised state.

The aftermath of angry protests in Shashamene after Haacaaluu Hundeessaa was assassinated.
After Haacaaluu Hundeessaa was assassinated in July, there were angry protests in towns such as Shashamene. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Government policy has also led to fallouts within the ruling party. The defence minister, Lemma Megersa, an ally turned critic of Abiy, was last week fired and placed under house arrest. State media reported Lemma’s dismissal from the ruling party being due to his “violating party discipline”.

Analysts say it was important to recognise that recent unrest has been limited to Oromia and that there was credible evidence suggesting violence over the previous months had not simply been inflicted on protesters by the security forces but also had occurred between ethnic communities.

The office of Ethiopia’s attorney general last week defended the government’s response to the unrest, saying in a statement that investigations would reflect a “commitment to human rights”.

Abel Abate Demissie, an Addis Ababa-based analyst with London’s Chatham House, said Ethiopia’s political polarisation has deep roots, with structural problems that have been insufficiently addressed under Abiy: conflicting narratives about Ethiopia’s history, an unfinished federal project and tensions over the division of power between the centre and the regions.

“Two years down the line [after his appointment], and you find every major political group is disappointed with Abiy,” he said.


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