(EritreaAt24 Series: May 6th) Eritrea’s Independence is Revered
by Ibrahim A. Ibrahim
The independence of Eritrea is a result of ultimate sacrifices paid by the gallant citizens without any reservation. People paid what they own. Their life was given for the sake of the future of the nation and future generations. Within the country and in the Diasporas people did all what they can do to support the revered fight for independence and freedom.
Achieving independence was a long and very unforgiving path. The enemy of Eritrean independence was not only Ethiopia or as all Eritreans believed the leaders of Ethiopia, but the superpowers of both blocks East and West. Both blocks shared and stood together against our own God given right to live free in our own land.
The inhuman and grave violation of human rights put forward the nation of Eritrea in the bargaining table. We were given as reward for servitude to Ethiopia at the reign of the former king of Ethiopia Haile Selassie.
Haile Selassie (July 23, 1892 – August 27, 1975) was the Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930-1974. During his feudal administration in 1952 at the blessing of the US of America in defiance of the will of the Eritrean people, Eritrea was federated with Ethiopia. Here is the then US Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, at his own infamous words:
From the point of view of justice, the opinions of the Eritrean people must receive consideration. Nevertheless the strategic interest of the United States in the Red Sea basin and the considerations of security and world peace make it necessary that the country has to be linked with our ally Ethiopia.”
With this the pain and suffering of Eritreans started. However, Eritreans did not allow the bargainers to play on their country's future. Soon they took up arms to fight for their own right. The main reason of the fall of the monarchy was the Eritrean struggle for independence. So is right, that no one can stood against the will of the people.
Then came the Military Junta led by Col. Mengistu Hailemariam (1937- ) Ethiopian leader (1977* – 1991). During this period it was the Eastern Block who played a leading role, with the West in the background, in trying to destroy the unflinching will of the people of Eritrea. Fortunately Eritrea prevailed and managed to defeat the enemy and gain independence from the criminals who occupied the country.
All type of unreserved aggression of human rights violations was committed against Eritrean citizens. At the time, when the worst atrocities was taking place, everyone gave a deaf ear to the sorrow of Eritreans. No one uttered a single word about human rights at the time while undignified horror was taking place in Eritrea. To the contrary both the East and the West were financing the savage act of Ethiopia by pouring millions in military, food aid, financial subsidy and political cover at international fora.
This kind of double standard makes one wonder if the Human Rights Advocates were indeed watching for the rights of humans, or they were after watching the interests of certain nations, organizations and interest groups. It is fair to ask about the so called Human Rights Advocates: "Where were they when Eritrean mothers' womb was being bayoneted by the savage Ethiopian soldiers? Did they say anything? Were they blinded to see, or deafened to hear their cries when they were being burned with napalm bombs or being slaughtered with cluster bombs? Did they ignore the inhuman sufferings of the elderly, women and children that were being killed indiscriminately by the Ethiopian Military?"
These testify the unquestionable double standard of the so called Human Rights Advocates. I wish they are fit to the trust bestowed upon to the name they hold as Human Rights Advocates. As to for the Eritrean people, no one can tell them what human rights are? They are part and parcel of their core values they don't want them to be politicized.
In the coming weeks Eritreans will be celebrating with boundless enthusiasm the 24th anniversary of their freedom. The celebration will also be the renewal of the pledge to honor the legacy of all those who passed to make independence a reality and who paid the ultimate price to guaranty that Eritreans live freely in Peace and Harmony without the fear and retributions of their nemesis.
Celebrating the 24th anniversary of Eritrean independence is a well-regarded holiday. We cherish the day for we paid high price to achieve it. We enjoy the day for we are striving to build our country with our blood and sweat solely relying on ourselves. We glorify the day for we have given the lives of our loved ones. We praise the day for we are defending our God given rights.
* Though there were two heads of state that succeeded Haile Selassie: General Aman Michael Andom (Sept. - Nov. 1974) and General Tafari Benti (Nov. 1974- Feb. 1977), Mengistu was the power behind them; both leaders were also executed by Mengistu.