Highlights : Interview with President Isaias Afwerki
The first part of the Interview focused on the three reckless offensives that the TPLF had intermittently launched during critical harvest times for two years; the political and military underpinnings of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement that the TPLF was ultimately compelled to sign; as well as the prospects of the peace process in the period ahead.
President Isaias underlined that the crucial question that we need to ponder is why this destructive war was necessary, why it was waged in the first place? President Isaias noted that the TPLF had inculcated huge damaged during its 27 years of repressive rule in Ethiopia. It was removed from power and subsequent 2018 Peace Agreement between Eritrea and Ethiopia had ushered in a period of hope and optimism in the region and beyond.
These developments fostered anxiety in its handlers in Washington who nudged it to indulge in reckless military offensives. Miscalculation on the balance of power was another factor behind these deplorable debacles.
The TPLF was made to sign the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement in Pretoria, worked out mainly by Washington with the over-arching intent of precluding its total military defeat. Be this as it may, Eritrea has no reservations if the Peace Agreement is implemented in good faith and in its entirety. This must be ascertained through meticulous monitoring.
The war has inculcated a huge loss of life as hundreds of thousands of Tigrayans were conscripted through various subterfuges. In this regard, the issue of accountability of the forces who instigated and pursued the war is of utmost importance.
President Isaias also elucidated with historical facts the implications of the new US National Security Strategy for global and regional peace. In this regard, President Isaias underlined that the deep-rooted political culture anchored on greed and domination by a tiny few was the primary cause of the turmoil and conflicts that have bedeviled the world in the paste decades. These tiny few do not aspire for peace and stability based on common values and interests. They relentlessly pursue a zero-sum-game policy. The New National Security Strategy does not contain novel concepts, and semantic and packaging aside, its main thrust is to revive and bolster the defunct uni-polar world order.
President Isaias referred to a Memorandum that Eritrea had sent to the Trump Administration in an effort to highlight the historical wrongs meted to Eritrea by the US for eighty long years since the denial of its rights of decolonization in the 1940s purportedly because this “did not serve US strategic interests”. This did not entail a substantive change of policy.
On the prospects of a new and balanced international order, President Isaias noted that the countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America have borne the brunt of war and destruction that emanate from the policies and proponents of greed and domination. This has engendering a growing awareness both in the countries of the Global South as well as in other powers adversely affected by the policies of “containment”. This has not crystallized to assume meaningful institutional form, but still remains a reactive and natural response or trend that can grow with time.