So what is President Isaias up to in Ethiopia?

A commentary from a reader.


It’s all a bit of a mystery.

Strictly speaking, while he was in Addis Ababa he and his team should be in quarantine  and not moving around  without wearing masks.  But let that rest. Perhaps when you are a President, the rules are different.

What is so important that it required a visit, apart from showing the world that President Isaias is alive and well?

Officially we are told that the meeting is about :

  • COVID 19
  • Locusts

There are a few problems with this agenda.

In the last month there have been a number of IGAD video conferences dealing with the issue their financial and social repercussions and regional cooperation on the issues. This included showing a united front to donors like the World Bank, IMF and African  Development Bank. Eritrea did not participate in any of the video conference meetings.

On COVID, we are repeatedly told Eritrea is doing well. There have been no deaths  and that more than half of the 39 cases identified have recovered. There are no new cases.

However, lock down that was meant to finish at the end of April has been extended indefinitely and Liberation day (24 May) festivities is likely to occur with a form of lockdown in place.

It could be argued that the conversation between Isaias and Abiy  is about the concerns that COVID could cross Eritrea’s borders. In this case surely the meeting should be with Djibouti and Somalia. Better still; Eritrea  should participate in the IGAD meetings.

LOCUSTS: Eritrea has repeatedly stated that the threat is under control and the Ministry of information has published  articles to that effect. Again, this should meant joining the IGAD talks.

What is left to discuss that may not have been made public?

  • border issues  – which irrespective of what President Isaias thinks is much more than a line on the ground.  The border issue is also about a number of territories Eritrea had to hand over to Ethiopia around Tsorona, Alitena etc….it is about the rights of the people living on the border . It is also about commerce, movement of people, and so on.
  • the Ethiopian elections. A key thing to remember here is that President Isaias disapproves of the Ethiopian Federal State and the decentralisation it implies. It is just the kind of decentralisation that might resolve the Eritrea- Ethiopia border impasse .  Isaias only concedes that it is an issue as a means of suggesting that Eritrea is still under threat from an Ethiopia that is taking the wrong direction, and that Tigrayans and the TPLF remain a threat.
  • Eritrean refugees. Here we know what the agenda is – discourage Eritreans seeking sanctuary in Ethiopia; close the camps and disperse those who won’t return to their country of origin.

13 comments

  1. The man is in Ethiopia just thinking that it is the appropriate time to deal with TPLF exploiting the seaming gap between PM/Biltsiginna Party and TPLF
    For the man alpha and Omega enemy is TPLF that has defamed and stopped him from attaining his aspirations of controlling Ethiopia and plunder it’s resources

    1. Isiais is a dead man walking – his days are numbered by an act of God or otherwise. Just watch this space.

  2. Dear writer,
    in your above comments, it looks like you intentionally did not mention Bademe & Zalanbesa which Ethiopia should hand over to Eritrea

  3. Close the Eritrean refugee camps and what ? Sent them back to concentration camp ‘Eritrea’ ?
    Or on to Europe so that continent gets all the African problems ?
    How about invading Eritrea with help of NATO , permission of UN and reunification with the motherland ?

    1. Reunification with the motherland? What for? For benefit of whom?
      Eritrea is independent and will always.
      Please keep that in mind always!

      1. I have no problem with Eritrea’s independence. But we have to get away from a village thinking to an African thinking. The African people will benefit more by working together as one. Ethiopia is a piece of land so is Eritrea, the most important is the way the majority of the citizens are living. Most of them earn a dollar a day or less.
        How convenient it’s to live in Europe or America in our comfortable home and argue about nationalism.

  4. It’s a very necessary and current information, go on. The key leader for the development of Eritrea and Ethiopia is only and only president Isaias Afewerki, even for the horn and east of Africa.

  5. His Excellency Afwerke can come and go as he wishes so do the Eriterians to Ethiopia,and stay as long as they wish to stay.
    I don’t think any Ethiopian has a problem with their presence except the frustrated tplfits in Mekele.
    Happily the game is over !!!!!

  6. I am a bit concerned that eritrea hub has been taking the side of Isaias Afeworki, who is known as authoritarian leader of Eritrea since 1991.
    As you know isaias not only he has been refused to make a reform, but he is showing no interest to release all political and conscience prisoners who have been in a very harsh conditions in more than 360 prison cells of shipping containers, underground barracks and so on. When most of countries free their prisoners due to a danger for covid – 19, isaias afeworki has never free a single prisoner yet.
    Would you please help advocate on behalf the oppressed Eritreans, who are voiceless and struggling inside the country?
    Thanks,

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