Magazine article New African

Correcting a Distorted Narrative

Magazine article New African

Correcting a Distorted Narrative

Article excerpt

Regrettably, New African's article on "Eritrea-Ethiopia Tensions" (July 2016), uncritically relied on two Africa "experts" for its perspectives on Eritrea. Both are avowed Eritrea detractors who haven't been in Eritrea for almost two decades. Consequently, the narrative projected was replete with a litany of factual errors, bias and inherently flawed analysis.

The author even indulges, taking his cue from Dan Connell, in unprofessional and libellous invective on the person of the President. Connell is no ordinary journalist. He is a self-professed agitator for "regime change" in Eritrea, a known operative--"an embedded mole and foot soldier"--doing the bidding of higher powers. He distorts Eritrea's reality to rally support for his zealous "liberating mission"--another "white man's burden", so to speak.

The oversight isn't limited to lack of full disclosures of the informants' motives. Ethiopia's unprovoked aggression against Eritrea last June is depicted as merely another episode in a perennial "border dispute". Both countries agreed to settle their "border dispute" through international court adjudicated "final and binding" arbitration. Eritrea accepted the ruling. But Ethiopia's decision to renege on its treaty obligations has and continues to stoke tension. This, however, doesn't diminish the legality and finality of the settlement.

Ethiopia's attack in June had nothing to do with the putative "border dispute". Ethiopia's regime doesn't deny this indelible fact either. Its confused and contradictory press statements dithered from blanket denial to belated rationalisation of its unlawful act as a "response to subversive proxy activities . Besides distracting from Ethiopia's obvious internal quandaries, the attack was intended to advance other hostile agendas.

Furthermore, among numerous errors and misconceptions, the author states: the "international community has always viewed Eritrea's existence with disdain". This sweeping generalisation is grossly inaccurate.

True, Washington has persistently opposed Eritrea's legitimate national rights at every historic juncture. Successive US administrations supported and armed Ethiopia's wars against Eritrea. Post-9/11, with Ethiopia christened an "anchor" state, an ally in the crusade against terror, misguided US policies resurfaced. …

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