by Sesin Seyoum,
We are at a time where the world population is depleted with news and stories that dramatize effects and ignore causes of the events we see in our world. Particularly third world countries seem to be the topic of “mass migration”, “poverty”, “sectarian and religious conflicts”, “coup d’état”, “terrorism”, “human right violations”, “war on terror” etc. Causes and effects go hand in hand as one obviously makes the other happen but, dwelling on the effects can weaken the capability of finding solutions. To accommodate big picture thinking and better understanding, it’s only right to look at effects from a wider angle and magnify the causes.
For instance, Let’s see the situations in Haiti and Afghanistan; countries that have been at the front pages of major mainstream media outlets recently. MSM, have been magnifying the turmoil in these countries while rarely mentioning the causes. Haiti a country that is a two-hour flight away from Florida and Afghanistan over 13 hours flight away from New York City are countries that were the subject of exploitation by neocolonial powers for decades. Television windows are now showing aid agency representatives acting as Samaritans and “delivering humanitarian aid” while the underlining causes keep on engulfing the turmoil under the surface. The never-ending cliché of the west portraying as “the savior of the poor” resumes by creating crisis and chaos then managing it.
Haiti has recently suffered assassination of it’s president Jovenel Moïse by alleged “foreign mercenaries” on July 7, 2021 and that created more crisis in the country that now mainstream media outlets are busy broadcasting hunger, havoc and insecurity in the island nation. But what is behind all the crisis in Haiti? What are the root causes? In addition to natural disasters that badly hurt the infrastructures of the island nation, the Haitian crisis is very much the result of the venomous neocolonialism and the unjust policies of the superpower nations that covertly disabled the island nation’s progression. Haitians were able to free themselves from the colonial rule of France in the early 19th century, but then came the USA hegemony as Haiti was not only occupied for almost twenty years, but also the USA, and France continued to meddle in the internal affairs of the island nation.
Afghanistan suffered similar fate of external occupation for 20 years, only for the USA to eventually abandon the country leaving some of it’s citizens and Afghans who were employed by the occupying US administration with no or little time to even evacuate in an orderly way. And Taliban the group USA once supported and funded to fight the Soviet Union (only to turn around later and designated them terrorists), are now back to rule Afghanistan. USA occupation of Afghanistan for the last 20 years has prolonged the misery of the Afghan people. The Oxymoronic difference of action taken by the USA now is that, while many planes full of Afghanis are being given refuge by the US administration; full planes load of Haitians are not only being deported back to Haiti daily, but also being hunted down around the border of Texas.
A breadbasket yet a basket case, a continent where the west, China and India grow crops and sell the harvest with so much profit while Africans depend on handouts, a continent with so much resources, yet it’s resources aren’t being used by Africans. To the contrary Africans are consumers of their own resources. With so much of untapped natural and bright human resources, Africa is still under indirect rule of the west. The continent suffered Europe’s invasion which was also called scramble for Africa; an invasion and occupation of most of Africa by western European powers which then transitioned from unofficial hegemony to direct colonial imperialism.
Africa was left behind because the historical abilities of it’s people in civilization was systematically destroyed by the west. The western world kept on inventing in the past hundreds of years using African resources while Africans were systematically pushed to tribal and sectarian conflicts by recruiting corrupt leaders that were bribed to serve. Revolutionary Africans were assassinated, and puppets are paraded as “democratic leaders”. National constitutions are literally being pasted to cater for corrupt leaders. All these and more made Africa fall backward. The European colonizers that colonized 51 African countries never allowed Africa to stand on it’s own two feet and crippled the inventiveness and progression of Africans. When any African nation stands for self-reliance, then it’s hit with external sanctions and even externally driven political turmoil.
In the last 30 years, Ethiopia was ruled by individuals, who were once a rebel group that fought the military Junta Derg from the 70s to 90s. Assistance, crucial training, and guidance from the progressive Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) in the neighboring country Eritrea, gave several Ethiopian rebel groups a huge firepower and with the navigation of the EPLF’s mechanized unit, the rebels were able to topple the barbaric regime in Ethiopia. The Eritreans helped TPLF in particular, as they had a vison of building a peaceful and harmonious Horn of Africa along with other neighboring countries such as Sudan, Kenya, Djibouti and Yemen as they believed (they do still believe) that viable prosperity cannot be achieved with a turbulent region and made regional harmony one of their main pillars of progression.
But soon after TPLF assumed power by dominating the coalition government in 1991, it reneged on the promises to the Ethiopian people and Eritrean neighbors, and began repressions, ethnic cleansing, genocide, widespread corruption, dividing Ethiopians ethnically which ignited tribal tension in the country and war with the neighboring countries Somalia and Eritrea. TPLF continued it’s insanity and started selling fertile Ethiopian lands for 1 US dollar per hectare. Millions of Ethiopians were starving to death while individuals in the TPLF were filling their pockets with stolen money which is said to be more than 30billion US dollars.
The USA and Europe saw Ethiopia as the key element of their “security strategy” in the Horn of Africa that they were not only giving a blind eye to the crimes of TPLF but also were funding the clique. In return TPLF became the number one servant of neocolonialists in the Horn of Africa region. From 1998 until it’s demise, the Tigrayan Peoples Liberation Front committed unimaginable and horrific crimes in Ethiopia and Horn of Africa by subjugating the people of Ethiopia, particularly those in Tigray to displacement, poverty, and unimaginable misery.
Ethiopians have been living in apartheid style situation for the last 30 years and the west has betrayed the people of Ethiopia for their geo-political game. Now that TPLF, the servant clique is ousted by the people and is officially designated as a terrorist organization, some in the USA and Europe are still trying to revive these criminals while completely disregarding the past plight of the Ethiopian people. It’s now abundantly clear that the country seems to have a self-reliant leadership that caters for the over 100 million of it’s people. But this totally goes against the west; as stable and self-reliant Ethiopia becomes a danger to their indirect exploitation.
Since the early days of the liberation struggle, Eritrea maintained that the objective was not only to hoist the national flag or assertation of legal sovereignty, but also to build vigorous and sturdy ground that securely provides independent and prosperous future for generations. This vision of “we can, and we will” by Eritreans has completely created agitation in those who were crippling Africa and therefore came the attacks on Eritrea in different shapes and forms starting through Yemen, Sudan, then Ethiopia, by inciting regional conflicts and cultivating corrupt leaders who would sell their nation. Then followed the economical and psychological warfare.
During the 30 years liberation struggle, the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (now People’s Front for Democracy and Justice-PFDJ) was not restricted in the fierce combat activities. In parallel, it was mobilizing and educating the wider public in the liberated areas. This has created common understanding and that the people took ownership of not only liberating Eritrea as a sovereign country, but also identifying the dangers of all the psychological warfare that were waged by external forces. EPLF also turned all the plans it mapped out on paper into reality by prioritizing social justice. Beginning from those in the remote areas of the country; basic necessities such as clean water, healthcare and roads are being installed. Eritrea is one of the very few to achieve all the three health millennium development goals (MDG). Which are; reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. All this is done without depending on external aid and while defending it’s territories from TPLF invasions, external attacks and other socioeconomic challenges.
Even during desperately tempting times the people and leadership of Eritrea consistently made peace their priority. While TPLF was barbarically & illegally kicking out over eighty thousand Eritreans and Ethiopians with Eritrean origin from Ethiopia; the response of Eritrea was farsighted. As the demise of TPLF was certain, harmonious and neighborly relationship between Horn of Africa nations was Eritrea’s clear and firm position. This was because Eritrea clearly identified the main causes behind TPLF’s inhumane actions and recognized TPLF as a servant clique that couldn’t stand without being spoon-fed by neocolonial west. Eritrea’s leadership even went as far as accurately foretelling how TPLF’s demise would be in which the world has witnessed recently.
As it’s well documented, the strategic location of the Horn of Africa has made it a corner of attraction. In addition to it’s diversity, with Islam and Christianity embedded history and culture, the region is a path for traders who travel through ‘Bab-el-Mandeb’, a strait that connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden. This is one of the reasons that made the area a target for outsiders to infiltrate and play proxy politics there. One way and perhaps the only way of turning the region from being a playground for players outside the region to a steady part of Africa is regional cooperation. Prioritizing social and economic stability while respecting their differences and grasping their similarities. And there seems to be common understanding as of recently as people are saying #NoMore to neocolonialism. Africans seem to rise up in order to confront the causes of the effects they suffered under for the past generations. Harmonious Africa is the only way to viable stability.