Isaias Afworki has turned the Eritrean young soldiers into Killer Robots
By Petros Tesfagiorgis
Isaias Afeworki has become a war lord moving Eritrean troops from one place to the other to kill and get killed instead of promoting and keeping peace. In the past thousands have died in the war against Yemen, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Djibouti and now thousands are dying in Tigray region of Ethiopia. Today the world is just waking up to the reality that Isaias is up to exterminate the Eritrean youth. He is also a liability to Africa.
Meles Zenawi, then Prime Minister of Ethiopia, and President Isaias Afework of Eritrea ended the 1998 senseless Ethio-Eritrean war by signing peace in Algeria on December 12, 2000. Soon members of the ruling party, PFDJ central committee, raised the issue of implementing the overdue constitution and the need to hold country-wide election.
The private media at that time covered the issue and brought it to the attention of the public, particularly the youth and students. The youth and students were talking about it with passion believing that they will have a bright future in a democratic Eritrea.
But Isaias had another idea. He did not want to give power to the people. On the morning of 18 September 2001 those who raised the issue, the G-15, were rounded up and put to prison never to be seen again. Next all the editors’ of the booming private newspapers were arrested. Isaias carried out a well-crafted coup d’état against the PFDJ/EPLF.
Although Isaias succeeded to win absolute power, he has never felt safe. His nightmare is that one day the people of Eritrea, particularly the High School and University students, will rise up and campaign to end his rule. In order to pre-empt the threat and to control the population he unleashed gross human rights violations and is ruling by fear.
First, the regime closed the highest learning institution of the country, the Asmara University. Next the high school leaving year, 12th grade, was made to take place away from the care and guidance of their parents in a remote place called Sawa where academic freedom is banned. When the students finish their 12th grade they remain in the camp to do a six months military training. After that they are assigned in the army or in various construction sites, extractive mines, farms etc. While they are studying, in military training or in civilian jobs their movement is under surveillance. When they take leave to visit their parents they have to have a permit, a system of pass laws applied during in South Africa during the Apartheid rule. When these young people are doing civilian jobs they are still considered as soldiers and are expected to obey orders from their superiors. Literally they are enslaved and dehumanized. Anyone who showed independent thinking or dissent faces severe punishment – such as torture, solitary confinement and other forms of human rights violations.
The Government owned television, ERI-TV, demonised the TPLF/Tigray day in and day out for many years, sawing the seeds of hate. The TV’s popular slogan is “Serving the truth” while in reality it is serving lies and disinformation. At the same time it built the personality cult of Isaias, The regime turned the youth into programmed robot to accept his orders blindly. This is hidden crime. European External Programme with Africa (EEPA) has reported that Abiy is paying one billion US dollars in 2 instalments to participate in the war. This is sending the Eritreans troops to fight and die as mercenaries in order for Isaias to fill his pockets. These 2 leaders are morally bankrupt and are enemies of humanity.
Today the world is watching with horror the Eritrean army joining the ENDF (Ethiopian National Defence Forces) and Amhara militias in killing civilians, raping women, looting and destroying factories and private properties, including historical sites such as the ancient Church of Mariam Zion in Aksum and Nejashi Mosque in Shire. .
They also attacked their fellow Eritreans, 100,000 of them living in the 4 refugee camps in Tigray, supposedly under the protection of UNHCR. It was reported that as soon as the Eritrean soldiers entered the refugee camps they started killing and looting. They kidnapped refugees to take them to Eritrea. The UNHCR has reported that 20,000 Eritrean refugees are missing when the two camps, Shimelba and Hitsat, were destroyed. It is also reported that angry Tigrean Militias have also killed some Eritrean refugees.
In this moment in time the international community are calling for the withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Tigray. This is a positive development that the entire African and International community has to push and make it happen.
To continue on part 2: The call by USA to withdraw Eritrean troops from Tigray and the refusal of Isaias presents a formidable challenge to the Democratic movement in Diaspora: What should be the reaction?
Some people are talking about establishing Government in exile. I think it is not wise. Most governments particularly African Governments would not recognize it. That will divert the campaign to bring Isaias to ICC based on the report of the UN Inquiry Commission on Eritrea.