15 publishers and representatives of human rights advocacy groups in a joint appeal in Dagens Nyheter have published an article, saying that it is time for the Swedish government to reconsider its policy to get Dawit Isaak and other journalists free from Eritrea where they are imprisoned.
Let us leave the question of why these “journalists” are imprisoned for the Eritrean government, since they are the only one believed to have complete information and clear picture of the matter, and instead respond to the very outdated, arrogant and very repulsive neo-colonial era proposal presented by these publishers human rights advocacy groups.
What these publishers and human rights advocacy groups are saying between the lines is that the Swedish government, with the help of the EU, should try to exert tangible pressure on Eritrea and thereby try to bring the country down on its knees, if possible also try to bring regime changes in Eritrea.
To achieve the intended effects, Eritrea will then, according to the publishers and human rights advocacy groups, either be denied aid or attracted with increased aid, and thereby, affect the current diplomatic deadlock and change conditions, and create a favourable political climate for Sweden and the EU.
What these so-called publicists and human rights advocacy groups missed and/or have poor knowledge of is that Eritrea is not on the list of countries that Sweden can influence with its aid stick.
The publishers and human rights advocacy groups, who assumes have solutions for all complex geopolitics problem of the world, should have understood that it is impossible to bring Eritrea down on its knees, this is because just for the simple reason that Eritrea does not receive either humanitarian or other kinds of assistance from Sweden or elsewhere. Eritrea had purposely rejected the politicized aid system for the last two decades understanding the implication and psychological burden aid could create within societies. Just for the record, one of Eritrea’s widely known slogans is “Aid Cripples!”.
Eritrea is the only country in Africa which Sweden and Europe can not influence through the carrot or stick method!
Eritrea’s position on aid is well known to the international community, Eritrea´s position on this matter has gained a worldwide reputation as “the nation that is not for sale”. What we have witnessed in recent years is that more and more countries in Africa are adapting Eritrea´s position on aid and the latest in raw to join this revolution in Ethiopia.
The publishers and human rights advocacy groups seem to live in their own bubble of worldview which sadly does not have any anchor to the prevailing current situation in the Horn of Africa in general and Eritrea in particular. As a wake-up call, we would like to give these so-called publishers and human rights advocacy groups a very high-level historical background as to why their outdated proposal, which belongs in the colonial era, does not bite on Eritrea.
- The resilient people of Eritrean have for 30 years fought a bloody war for their independence and paid very high prices and sacrificed their blood to materialize independence, a reality which Sweden was not willing to accept, even worse than that, Sweden was among those countries that stood on the wrong side of history regarding the Eritrean issue. A question to the publishers and human rights advocacy groups, where was Sweden when the Eritrean people were burned with the Napalm bomb for 30 years?
- Why haven’t we heard a single sound from Sweden about upholding the verdict given by the International Border Court in Den Hague on the border dispute between Eritrea and Ethiopia? This verdict was announced on 13 April 2002, 19 years ago, on the contrary, Sweden and its allies had no stone left unturned to undermine the verdict. In fact, Sweden and its allies were seen cradling the then Ethiopian regime in the arms. What moral grounds does Sweden have to talk about law and order
- Eritrea is an independent country in its full sense and with a very clear strategy on partnership, also known for its renounced anti-aid stance. This should be supported and encouraged by so-called ”donor countries”. On the contrary, Eritrea´s positive aspiration toward achieving food security has been met with skepticism and arrogance by Sweden and other western nations. Why would Sweden and its allies insist on giving aid instead of supporting and encouraging Eritrea and other African countries to achieve food security? Is it because aid is used to remotely control and steer countries? For the record, Eritrea has long ago achieved food security and is one of few African countries that met the MDG goals with its very limit yet very well managed resources, and without any external support!
- Eritrea always has its doors open for a serious partnership based on mutual respect and cooperation, all other soft power tools like aid and humanitarian assistance are considered by Eritrea as neocolonial instruments used for subjugate nations. What is it Sweden does not understand here and why is Sweden try to lecture us on what we should prioritise?
Two decades of western nations political and diplomatic pressures, mass media bullying, sanctions, arms embargoes, isolation attempts, economic sabotage, financing and orchestrating exodus of Eritrean in an attempt to drain youth out of Eritrea through unconditional free asylum for all who “claim” to prove that they are Eritreans and many other state-funded obstacles have proven miserably failed.
It’s time for publishers and human rights advocacy groups to step out from their little and unrealistic worldview and try to adapt to prevailing reality. Eritrea is not for sale!
By the way, what these publishers and human rights advocacy groups are propagating for is not an isolated and new proposal, it is rather an instance of the political systems of their nations, which they think are democratic, generators of world’s best values and champions of moral high-grounds, while the prevailing reality and the records speaks the contrary.
Recently Joseph Borell, High representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, told the Russian foreign Sergey Lavrov to stay out of Africa.
According to Lavrov, Borell literally said “You better not work in Africa because Africa is our place”. Yes, in the greedy eyes of colonialists and neocolonialist, Africa have been and will always be their property. For the sake of enlightenment, this kind of psychology and state of mind is what Eritrea and Eritrean have been fighting for the last 8 decades.
Eritrea and Eritrean people have mastered the art of surviving with their resources. Additionally, Eritrea has managed to create a national identity bolder than basalt rock, through which the people have developed a culture of playing a crucial role in the nation-building process.
Eritrea is always open for constructive conversation and cooperation in all areas, but does not accept any threats or pressure from anyone! Sweden and the EU should look for other humble and constructive engagement methods and stop trying to dictate old dogma.