October 22, 2012

In a May 2000 Patrick Gilkes, UK Citizen and Strategic Planning Advisor to the Foreign Ministry of Ethiopia wrote the following in a 23 May 2000 BBC article[9], “Free rein for Eritrean opposition”: “…Ethiopia appears to be leaving, deliberately, the western provinces to the opposition Alliance of Eritrean National Forces (AENF)…. Ethiopia appreciates the possibilities of the Alliance for weakening the government in Asmara, but is taking considerable care not to provide any overt sign of support which would be widely resented. Instead, Ethiopia and Sudan are leaving the Alliance to respond in its own way to the opportunity created by Ethiopian military successes…Alliance leaders are now trying to mobilise their support in areas once controlled by the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) factions which make up most of the Alliance…The Alliance already claims it is widely operating in rural areas…working to organise and build up its support as fast as possible to take advantage of the vacuum…”

· In another BBC report, “New rebel force in Eritrea”[10], the BBC reported on a meeting sponsored by the Ethiopian government for Eritrean groups and individuals held in the Ethiopian capital. The report also said: “…An alliance of 13 Eritrean opposition groups says it is setting up a military wing to topple President Isaias Afewerki…The Eritrean National Alliance’s general secretary, Hiruy Tedla Bairu, told the BBC that the military wing would attack strategic targets such as television and radio centres…Mr Hiruy said the military wing would not attack the Eritrean army, which he hoped could be won over by the opposition… Mr Hiruy also said that the alliance would not seek to target President Isaias because “the problems [assassinations] produce later are too big to handle”… He was speaking in neighbouring Ethiopia, which he said was one of three countries that had offered his alliance “material support”… He said the others were Sudan and Yemen but denied that the ENA were Ethiopian stooges…”

· In 2001, the ELF-RC, another group financed, harbored and supported by the Ethiopian government held its 5th congress in Gondar, Ethiopia · The Ethiopian Government also supported the establishment of an “opposition” radio that broadcast from Ethiopia and according to news reports[11]: “…The Broad cast which has been on trial since January is based in northern Ethiopia Tigray region’s Mekelle city… Currently the radio station airs programs to Ethiopia , Eritrea and partly to Arab nations…” It is preposterous for the SEMG to point its fingers at Eritrea and it is an insult to the people of Eritrea, Ethiopia and the entire region to present the lawless reckless and belligerent entrenched regime in Ethiopia as a victim and Eritrea as the villain. The record speaks for itself. But let’s go on , there is more.

Ethiopia got help from its handlers and according to the Embassy cable, on 3 October 2007, US officials in Ethiopia met and held talks with the Eritrean National Salvation Front (ENSF) Chairman Abdella Adem and ENSF Foreign Relations Director Beyene Kidane. This is not the first meeting between US officials and runaway Eritrean defectors and draft dodgers and they were very cler as to who was sponsoring and directing their anti-Eritrea activities. The Wikileak cable[12] ERITREAN OPPOSITION GROUP SEEKING NEW OPPOSITION ALLIANCE, states: “…When queried about military training camps, Abdella replied that the EDA had closed their training camps in Sudan at the request of the Sudanese Government and moved them into Ethiopia… Abdella said the EDA groups now received instruction from Ethiopian military personnel in two military training camps in Tigray located in close proximity to Ethiopian military camps.

The ENSF, Eritrean Revolutionary Democratic Front, and an Afar group trained at a camp in eastern Tigray near Adigrat, while a number of other groups trained at a camp in western Tigray near Adi Hageray…” According to the US Embassy cable, Abdela Adem also told the American officials that: ” … on the political front the government of Ethiopia served as an advisor to the Eritrean opposition…Abdella commented that Meles had given the EDA access to one radio station in Ethiopia that broadcast into Eritrea and divided the airtime between opposition groups… Abdella stated he had met with Meles for more than two hours on October 2…” Another US Embassy cable[13] details a meeting held by US officials with Eritrean groups financed, harbored and supported by Ethiopia. The cable said: “…The May 5-11, 2008 Eritrean political opposition congress in Addis Ababa reformed and expanded the Eritrean Democratic Alliance (EDA) to serve as the umbrella organization for all Eritrean opposition groups. Embassy officers spoke with more than a dozen opposition leaders and civil society representatives before, during, and after the conference… The conference was attended by 43 representatives from 13 different Eritrean opposition groups and 33 observers…EDA leaders were sensitive to criticism that they were a puppet of Ethiopia and would prefer to hold future conferences elsewhere if given sufficient funding. Lastly, three of the EDA organizations are descendants of the Eritrean Islamic Jihad, and Post would appreciate guidance from Washington, in consultation with Embassy Asmara, on how to deal with this sensitive issue…”

A US Embassy cable[14] reports on a 26 February 2008 meeting between Joseph Stephanides, the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) Head of Addis Ababa Office and visiting members of the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA). It said: “…Stephanides disclosed that the Russian DCM to Ethiopia, who he said often exceeded Moscow’s instructions, told Stephanides that the Ethiopian government was attempting to set up an Eritrean government in exile with the Eritrean opposition. The Russian told Stephanides that once established, the government in exile could openly call for Ethiopian assistance and give Ethiopia international justification for removing Eritrean President Isaias. (Note: A counselor at the Russian Embassy here separately told Embassy officers the same thing.)…” Meles Zenawi openly talked about his destabilization project with several US officials on various occasions and on one such occasion he shared his ideas with Deputy Assistant Secretary Karl Wycoff[15]. This is also the meeting during which he assured the reckless Prime Minister of Susan Rice’s support in getting the “stand alone sanctions” against Eritrea. The Embassy cable said: “…Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles told visiting AF/DAS Wycoff and CDA on November 19 that he wanted to give the USG a “heads up” that Ethiopia was considering actively supporting armed Eritrean opposition groups if the international community fails to take action to isolate Asmara… Pressed by Wycoff to describe the “pro-active” measures being considered, Meles said one option would be to directly support opposition groups that are capable of sending “armed propaganda units” into Eritrea Meles said that the groups with the most capability to operate inside Eritrea are those “that you don’t like from the lowlands, like the Keru” who he said would be “much better able to survive in Eritrea.” (NOTE. The Keru are a primarily Muslim ethnic group most of whose members live in Eritrea, although a minority live in Ethiopia. END NOTE.)…” 3 March 2012, Meles Zenawi openly threatened Eritrea when he invited members of the Eritrean Quislings League. He said: “…We will work towards changing Eritrea’s policies or its government.

This could be done diplomatically, politically or through other means…” Today, in violation of UN rules and regulations and the principles enshrined in the UN Charter the SEMG is serving anti-Eritrea agendas using the UN as a cover, but there are also others. One such individual is Haile Menkerios, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s special envoy, who participated in a meeting organized by the Ethiopian regime in Awassa, Ethiopia. It took place around the time of Meles Zenawi’s death. For those who do not know this person, he is the former Eritrean Ambassador to the United Nations, one of the architects of the anti-Eritrea vilification and defamation campaigns that began in 2000. He abandoned the Eritrean people and was given a UN post by Kofi Annan, the then UN Secretary General at the behest of the US. Today, he is working with the Ethiopian regime to undermine Eritrea’s sovereignty and weaken Eritrea diplomatically, politically and economically. The lawless leader of the frightened minority regime in Ethiopia has spelled it out in black and white. Considering these and other evil and bloody activities of the regime in Ethiopia against the people and government of Eritrea, it is a shame and intellectually deceptive and dishonest for the SEMG to try to portray Eritrea in such as negative light. T

he UN Security Council must shoulder its moral and legal obligations and call for the unconditional removal of Ethiopia’s forces from sovereign Eritrean territories. The Security Council should also annul and repeal the ill-advised, ill-gotten, illegal, unfair and unjust sanctions against the State of Eritrea and its people.

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[1]http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/10/07ADDISABABA3198.html accessed 30 July 2012
[2]2 March 1999, BBC Report, “Africa Analysis: The war’s bitter legacy”, by Patrick Gilkes
[3] http://www.start.umd.edu/gtd/ accessed 6 August 2012
[4]http://www.arhotabba.com/rsado.html accessed 6 August 2012
[5]http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?iframe&page=imprimable&id_article=33621 accessed 6 August 2012
[6] http://wikileaks.org/cable/2010/01/10ADDISABABA50.html#
[7] http://www.start.umd.edu/gtd/ accessed 6 August 2012
[8] BBC Report Ethiopia’s war strategy, 19 May 1999 accessed 30 July 2012
[9] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/760503.stm accessed 30 July 2012
[10] BBC Report New rebel force in Eritrea, 2 May 2003, BBC accessed 30 July 2012
[11]http://blogs.rnw.nl/medianetwork/eritrean-opposition-radio-starts-broadcasting-from-ethiopia-sudan-tribune accessed 31` July 2012
[12]http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/10/07ADDISABABA3016.html
[13] According to the Wikileak cable, “three of the EDA member groups are factions from Eritrean Islamic Jihad, according to EDA leaders and Post’s research. EIJ is believed to be responsible for the murder of a British national in Eritrea in 2003 and other terrorist acts in Eritrea. The three groups are: the Eritrean Islamic Party for Justice and Development, also known as Alkhalas, led by Sheikh Mohammed Khalil Amir; the Eritrean People’s Congress, also known as the Eritrean Popular Congress, led by Mohammed Tahir Shengeb; and the Eritrean Islamic Congress led by Hassan Salman. The Eritrean People’s Congress is associated with another EIJ descendant, the Eritrean Islamic Reform (Islah) Movement.”
[14]http://wikileaks.org/cable/2008/02/08ADDISABABA506.html accessed 30 July 2012 [15]http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/11/09ADDISABABA2817.html accessed 30 July 2012 (Editorial opinion may not coincide with the opinion of the authors.)

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