Every time Eritreans come across their Ethiopian counterpart, the favorite statement of Ethiopians is that we are the same. We are brothers. Well, here is your time to prove it! Prove it by standing with your brothers and sisters. Prove it by standing for justice. Prove it by showing your support and readiness for a new beginning; a beginning towards mutual trust, cooperation, understanding and love for each other for the good of the people in the region. Every thing has a beginning. Elias Kifle, Sileshi Tilahun and Demise Belete among others made the initiative to visit Eritrea and to talk to President Isaias Afwerki, a controversial figure in Ethiopian circles and returned with a different attitude. They were determined to expose the Eritrean perspectives. They wanted to tell Ethiopians that Eritrea was not the enemy but a true friend of Ethiopia. That Eritrea seeks Ethiopian unity, peace, cooperation and partnership. Mr. Elias and his partners sacrificed a great deal; they were ridiculed and called traitors but they stood their grounds and pursued what they felt was the right thing.
They are not ridiculed anymore. In fact, they are regarded very highly. The price they paid and their determination paid off big time. The interview with President Isaias was a success. It changed the way many viewed the Eritrean president and, as a result, many Ethiopians are working with Eritreans now. The chance they took became a platform for the stage we are in today, a stage where many are openly saying: “We want to march alongside our Eritrean brothers and sisters and express our solidarity with them on the incoming world-wide demonstration against the unjust UN imposed sanction slapped on Eritrea. In fact, we want to work with Eritreans in many other fields of mutual concern” and are doing so.
Likewise, we, Eritreans, want to be part of a new beginning, to leave the history of hate and bloodshed behind-us and start anew. This demonstration is the first occasion where Eritreans and Ethiopians are to stand together side by side for a purpose in DC and tell the world that we are not enemies; and we will never be. We are brothers and sisters capable of working together. We are united for a purpose and that purpose is to live together side by side as partners; for our successes and interests and not at the expense of each other. That is what we are determined to achieve; what we are striving for and, that is what we want to tell the world.
We need to march in unity to change perceptions. For centuries the West were relaxed because they can take for granted the fact that we will kill one another for no reason. We will march to change that. We need to show the enemies of our people that we can be smart and stand united in order to challenge their evil ways. We need to march to set example to others that peace is the way. But most importantly, we need to march to set a good example for future generations. We need to be the first, so we can say; we are amongst those who marched first for unity, for peace, cooperation between Eritreans and Ethiopians for a new beginning.
We need to march together because we have a much bigger fish to fry. To get rid of a despot, a master of genocides, a thief and a mercenary. To put in jail a person responsible for so much bloodshed, destruction and displacement of millions; and a criminal whose murderous troops shot at point-blank and killed many youngsters who dared to stand up for freedom. We need to stand together and to march in unity to tell our detractors propping-up despots is not acceptable and their ways are hurting the future of our people and killing progress. Because if we don’t, they will think and believe, they are doing well by abusing our peoples. And unfortunately, the people they care most are the handful that are benefiting at the expense of millions while the millions are condemned for handouts. We are marching to break that cycle.
We need to march to annul the illegal, immoral and UNjust sanction imposed on Eritrea:
Firstly, because as Samuel Johnson English author, critic, & lexicographer once said “An injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere”! They sanctioned Eritrea unjustly because they have a bully pulpit, ownership of a defunct world body, the UN. Meles, who is a party to the mischief, has been directly responsible for the arms and the bloodshed in Somalia. Eritrea is in no way capable of shipping arms or providing any other logistical support when the US is controlling the Indian Ocean, the land and air and anything in between. Furthermore, Eritrea doesn’t have the resources. What Eritrea did is stand for justice for the Somali people by asking the world community to allow them to resolve their issues without outside meddling. Eritrea took a moral stand just as many Arab states do on Israel by not recognizing Israel so long as the Palestinian issue remains unresolved.
The UN had absolutely no evidence to back up US and Meles Zenawi’s claims about Eritrea’s support for armed groups in Somalia. South African Ambassador to the United Nations Dumisani Kumalo, who served as chairman of the U.N. Security Council’s Somalia sanctions committee, speaking of Somalia, said that 80% of ammunition available at the Somali arms markets was supplied by TFG and Meles Zenawi’s troops. Kumalo also said that the committee had received details of some 25 military flights sent by Meles Zenawi into Somalia and knew that Meles Zenawi’s troops had brought military equipment into the country to arm “friendly clans.” The UN Envoy for Somalia Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah also said that there was no evidence to prove the allegations made against Eritrea are correct.
The US does not care about the Somalis’ well being, because if it did, it wouldn’t have supported Meles in his quest for Somali blood. If the US truly was for justice, human rights and the rule of law, it would have supported the Somali freedom fighters instead of encouraging and abating the Meles’ and Museveni’s to help create mayhem in that lawless land. But, then again, who exonerated the US? We all know the US is a party to the conflict as well. I guess “Might is right” as the saying goes.
Secondly, the sanctions intended goal is to boost Meles Zenawi, weaken Eritrea (the only country standing on his ways) and render Ethiopians at the mercy of Meles Zenawi for decades without any serious challenge to his reign. Is that what you want? A murderous thief who is selling Ethiopia to individuals, entities and countries that will not have the best interest Ethiopia. He is selling Ethiopia piece by piece with the hopes that his investors will keep him in power in order to maintain their investments. Therefore to lose focus at this point is irresponsible. We need to march together to stop this madness.
Thirdly, we need to march because success means the defeat of Meles Zenawi and his gang. One of the intended goals of the sanction is to reverse the momentum that is ready to engulf the Ethiopian nation; the undercurrent that has been building due to hatred of the detested Meles’s regime. It is by far the most crucial moment in the history of Ethiopian struggle. This is a moment that will define history. Because if Meles is allowed to win, the bloodshed will continue for a long time because, the change his masters seek are dangerous and will mire the region into bloody conflicts worse than what we are witnessing in Somalia.
This is a time when Ethiopians need to take a firm and clear stand and decide whether they want Meles and the TPLF gang gone. There is no need for those who take a hesitant position and fearful to show that they are working with Eritrea because they are afraid of a backlash. No need for those who want to stay in the background afraid to be in a weaker position if Eritrea loses. No need for those who want to put themselves in a favorable position by taking the middle ground in order to switch sides when convenient ala Hailu Shawel. These people or groups have no stand and can not lead. Do you want Weyane gone? Then take a stand. Show the people of Ethiopia that you can stand against Weyane and lead.