PFDJ Blunders and Accusations on UNMEE
Recently, the whole PFDJ media outlets and Brigadier General Abrahaley Kifle have acutely campaigned against allegedly criminal acts by UNMEE soldiers on Eritrean women and other acts on citizens. Elaborated response from the ELF-RC News and Cultural Office has been issued in Tigrinia. We will attempt to highlight the blunders of PFDJ and look at the merits and objectives of the accusations.
At the outset, the Eritrean people should understand that PFDJ, with Isayas as its steering wheel is primarily responsible for all the criminal acts being committed on our women and young men. It started a war that did not serve any national interest. It launched a war despite the international call for restraint and resort to legal means of resolving the dispute. It found it easier to fire the bullet and to have tens of thousands of our youth perished in a renowned senseless war. Every thing else that came as a result of that war could have been prevented. The rape, sodomy and other allegations being made by PFDJ would not have taken place. We do not think they get it that they are the cause for all the suffering.
Despite the facts stated above, we believe in the proper investigation of crimes against our women in particular and our citizens in general and the cooperation of UNMEE on that matter. There is no doubt on our mind that the rape and other crimes should be investigated, documented and the perpetrators (UNMEE soldiers) should be brought to justice and the victims compensated based on rules applicable to such circumstances.
Now, let's look at the timing and other circumstances of the allegations and share some of our observations:
· The timing of the accusations: These rapes and other criminal acts were supposedly committed through out the last two years. That means the people of Eritrea were kept in the dark except for one incident where one of the UNMEE soldiers was removed from the country. UNMEE officials have said that most of the allegations are old and have been dealt with. The same officials are also asking a legitimate question in regard to the objective of presenting old cases that were already settled or at least dealt with as new at this point. The timing and the intensity with which PFDJ has put it forward has made the case a suspect in the minds of many.
· The Need for Campaign: They act as if they have concrete evidence that the crimes have been committed. If that is the case, why didn't they present the evidence to the proper authorities via the appropriate channels first? What is the objective of the intensive campaign on radio, TV, and other media outlets about the matter? What is that the people of Eritrea supposed to do? It is all the responsibility of PFDJ and none of the people.
· The campaign started with the accusation of PFDJ that a "criminal" escaped to Ethiopia hiding in an UNMEE vehicle. It is not difficult to conclude that the motivation is political rather than the true suffering of the women. A "criminal" in PFDJ political and security environment is someone who expressed an opinion that may not support PFDJ position on some issue or utter against a crime or a political blunder of some sort that was done by one of its cronies. If they can accuse of crimes of treason the previous makers and shakers of the earlier EPLF and latter PFDJ like Drue, Petros, Sherifo and others, would they hesitate to label others? By now, every one knows their old tactics and frustration is setting in.
· The issue of immoral culture: If there is any entity that destroyed the high moral standard of our culture that we inherited from our ancestors, it is the PFDJ culture of winning at any cost. They do not hesitate to make up a story to defeat any one who stands on its way. Winning and staying in power is the end for them and there fore the end justifies the means. They have decayed the moral pillars of our society to a point where it is almost in a collapsing stage. Our culture of consistency, decency, and respect has been bartered for manipulation, flip-flapping, corruption, lying and outright intimidation. Hard work and statesmanship that we grew up with have been discarded and replaced with cheating and short cuts. Standing for the truth and what is right has been replaced by what is in it for me and compromising your morals for survival. PFDJ crones are the last ones to preach morality or blame others for its decay.
· Lack of opportunity: The reason our young women are resorting to prostitution is due to lack of training, work and a decent economic opportunity that they can strive on with hope. Blaming others for the economic and human right destruction PFDJ caused will not fool any one any more. Would the women choose to sell themselves if they could have decent respectable earning? Our people are known for hard work and pride and we are sure our sisters and daughters would not resort to immoral and demeaning acts if they had any other choice. Its destructive policy of war and oppression has left the people in despair. Desperation for survival under PFDJ tyranny is the root cause of poverty, hopelessness and lack of opportunity. Poverty, hopelessness and lack of opportunity are the recipes for indecent acts for survival; and there are plenty of those thanks to PFDJ.
· Political blunders: PFDJ is committing one political blunder after the other in regard to the border demarcation:
1. Lack of cooperation with UNMEE on the ground: Every one has seen that UNMEE frustrated by the lack of progress of the demarcation and lack of cooperation and obstacles in their movement and doing their task has given an ultimatum. Eritrea has every thing to lose should UNMEE withdraw. The latest campaign based on matters that have been either settled or dealt with has made the situation worse, almost to the point of desperation
2. Refusing to see the special UN envoy Lloyd Axworthy: True to their disastrous diplomatic actions, they refuse to see him publicly. Later, they give an excuse that they did not know what his mission was or what he brings to the table. It is mind boggling when one hears such laughable and lame excuse on such huge national matter. Why should they refuse to sit down with him if they do not know what his agenda was? The responsible and reasonable thing to do was to meet and listen to what he had to say. At that point, they could have said that they do not want to negotiate on matters that have been already settled by the commission in a civilized and polite way should it be necessary. Their ego driven unEritrean attitude does not allow them to do so.
Conclusion: As we stated earlier, UNMEE soldiers who committed crimes against our women should be held accountable via the proper channels and protocol, and the victims should be compensated accordingly.
The demarcation of the border is crucial to the future peace of the people of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Once the border is demarcated, the suspicions of the people can ease and PFDJ will not have an important fear factor to play on our people. Eritreans should urge the Security Council, the United Nations as a whole as well as the whole world to stay the course of implementing the demarcation. They should call on them not to be discouraged by the blunders of PFDJ. As the RC speaker of ELF-RC stated, ELF-RC is committed to the ruling whether Eritrea gains or loses. The stand taken by the United Nations and nations of the world that the ruling is final and binding should be appreciated.
The lasting solution though is to dismantle the dictatorial rule of PFDJ and replace it with a democratic one that respects transparency and accountability. We call on the international community to stand on the side of the Eritrean people in their journey towards peace and democracy. The border demarcation is an important step in that journey.
Thanks for reading,
The Nharnet Team
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