The United States of America, by denying the inalienable right of Eritreans to determine their own destiny through the participation of their representatives at UN forums, sponsored a federal arrangement of Eritrea with Ethiopia. Mr. John Foster Dulles, the then Secretary of State of the USA, had to illegally push for the federation of Eritrea with Ethiopia, but could not conceal the injustice that befallen on Eritrea when he said, “If it were for the legitimate right of people, Eritreans should have gotten their independence, but in the interest of the United States in the Red Sea basin and world peace, the country [Eritrea] should be federated with our ally, Ethiopia.”, a verdict, which can happen only in a “kangaroo court” in which basic right of a people is denied for the sake of one’s “interest“ and that of an “ally” and “world peace in the Red Sea basin“, a wish, which never happened for the last 63 years and it will not in the future unless otherwise justice is served, truth is told by the western media, NGOs and civil societies cease to be instruments for political ends, superpowers refrain from using the Red Sea basin as their staging grounds for confrontation and/or domination among one another in collaboration with regional client states like Ethiopia, countries in the area avoid hegemony and instead work for peace, harmony, and cooperation, and the UN and its agencies do their responsibilities right.
The forced federal arrangement of Eritrea with Ethiopia was to end in 1962, i.e., after ten years of its pronouncement and then to bring the case to the UN for the people of Eritrea to decide whether they wish to continue with such arrangement or not. Instead, Imperial Ethiopia unitarily annulled the federal arrangement and declared Eritrea as one of its thirteen provinces and dissolved the country’s Government, Parliament, and Military establishments by force. Despite repeated calls by the then Eritrean Government, civic societies, and noted personalities in the country for the UN to intervene and reverse the move taken by Ethiopia, such a plea got no response from the world body, the sponsor of the federal arrangement and of course not from the international human right agencies now crying foul by alleging that certain human rights are being violated by Eritrea, itself the very victim of injustices, of a dodo court ruling, a verdict on the extinction of the country as a state!
During the ten-year period of Federation, Imperial Ethiopia step-by-step dismantled the civil, judiciary, military, and every other state institutions, replaced the national languages, Tigrigna and Arabic, with Amharic, schools were forced to teach children in a language alien to them, and finally at gun points ordered the members of the Eritrean Parliament to sign the dissolution of the federation agreement. The state flag was lowered and replaced by the Ethiopian flag and the painful era of armed struggle began.
After two decades of peaceful protest, Eritreans had no other choice but to launch an armed struggle in 1961, which lasted for thirty years of war and destruction by Ethiopia with the full knowledge and involvement of the superpowers, particularly the US and USSR. All kinds of weapons except the atomic bomb were used in Eritrea, mostly provided by the two superpowers. The use of prohibited cluster bombs and nerve gases and the poisoning of wells were not even spared. There were times when people were running over by tanks alive. Civilians, particularly women and children, were killed en masse by a blanket bombardment of villages, market places, schools, and places of worships, with the devious intent “to kill the fish drain the water” campaign by Ethiopian forces, at times physically assisted by American, Cuban, Soviet Union, and East German troops and/or advisors.
The price paid for liberty and justice was immense as much as it was painful, a feeling, which resonates in every Eritrean living today. Eritrea lost sixty thousand of its freedom fighter sons and daughters and ten thousand of them disabled. During those thirty long years, more than five hundred thousand Eritrean children, mothers, and fathers were displaced internally in Eritrea and an equal number of them became refugees in Sudan, a staggering statistic and a horrific human tragedy, which was completely ignored by the United Nations, a country which was vehemently opposed by the United States and the Soviet Union politically and militarily, vilified by the western media.
Ethiopian News, Current Affairs and Opinion Forum
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