What do we know about Eritrea’s influence over current Ethiopian ideological, political, economic, and security policies? Recent statements by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his senior political advisors may make you wonder.
Ideologically, Ethiopia has adopted the Eritrean model of “enforced territorial nationalism” – all citizens must subscribe and comply to the national symbols and dictates emanating from the “king” or the central authority.
If not, they are considered enemies of the state.
Politically, Ethiopia has adopted the Eritrean perverse “self-reliance” model.
PNGing or deporting humanitarian and UN agencies and construing the US and the West as an “enemy” of their sovereignty and development.
Economically, Ethiopia has (again) succumbed to Eritrea’s manipulative involvement. The Ethiopian Defence Forces are draining the foreign currency reserves due to their mercenary activities in western Tigray; black-market foreign exchange rate manipulation; etc.
Security wise, the Eritrean military is killing Ethiopian citizens with impunity and occupying Ethiopian territory with the consent of Abiy Ahmed. Eritrean intelligence services are operating as a ‘deep state’ across the country.
If the Ethiopian government and Prime Minister Abiy are as influenced by Eritrea and President Isaias Afwerki as it appear, then the US, UN and EU must re-think their strategies towards mitigating the Ethiopian civil war, and factor in Asmara more persuasively.
The political destinies of Abiy Ahmed and Isaias Afwerki – and their respective political projects in Ethiopia and Eritrea – are intertwined.
They are likely to endure or to fall together.