Ethiopian, Historical and Political 

After a decade of confusions, politics of the Horn are showing signs of recovery. In the world of Obama, where CHANGE is proving to be the most powerful engine to recovery, a promising Ethiopian-hand is emerging to verify its role in molding the trends of resolving the crisis of one of the global hot- spots, i.e., the Horn of Africa.

Leaving to history-books, the regrettable war of mismanagement (1998-2000) and its impacts, Ethiopian government has a new idea about the futurity of deportees.

This trend is more than a glimmer of hope to those who had been deported from Ethiopia to Eritrea. Unlike what has been going on for more than a decade, i.e., playing a game of border dispute against Shaebia, this new idea will involve a dynamic input, i.e., people’s diplomacy for peace and reconciliation. That is why I call it Ethiopian, Historical, and Political. However deep the impacts of the war of mismanagement are, this effort will achieve a measurable outcome in discarding the stagnant Shaebia-politics that never learns from history or its mistakes. 

      As the evolutionary scientist Charles Darwin postulated the rules of survival: 

                  “It is not the strongest Species that survive,

                                          nor the most intelligent!                                      

                           But the ones most responsive to change.” 

Shaebia, by its inability to adapt to the dynamics of change, has committed political suicide. Structurally and strategically it has proved to be out-dated. Worse. it has become an enemy that threatens to destroy the people’s (Eritrean) way of life. By waging the so called national service, it has indirectly imprisoned all the fertile and productive ages to the extent of challenging the sustainability of the FAMILY, which is society’s cellular unit in terms of Eritrean cultures, traditions, and norms. This trend of decline is exacerbated by mass migration and ever-amassing death rate. From this perspective, any effort that compares Eritrean government, its deeds or misdeeds with an Ethiopian government and its new approach to the futurity of the deportees is MISINFROMATIVE. 

In addition to the reoccurring natural catastrophes of drought, desertification, and climate changes, the sustainability of Eritrean societies is being challenged by consequences of failed governance. A prominent example of this failure is the multiplication of enemies. Due to chronic warfare, the country is surrounded by neighbors-turned-enemies. Especially the loss of Ethiopian trading partnership has crippled Eritrean national economy. As a result, every citizen living in the country is slowly starving. The elites, though, may have the privilege of being the last to starve by insulating themselves from the problems of the people. In line with this trend, an Ethiopian intervention that senses this pain of starvation, particularly for the deportees is on-time and humanitarian as well. Politically this act is a sign of quality in leadership that extends its impact beyond borders and military fences.  

Unlike the presentation of the case by some analysts, the point of focus here is not a business license, money in the banks or buildings. Perhaps the return of such properties to their used to be owners can be a symptomatic alleviation of the consequences of the ailment. However the main focus is a beginning of the process of reconciliation.  As a matter of fact almost all business licenses of the deportees had been revoked during the process of deportation. And many properties like residential or business buildings have changed hands multiple times during the elapsed ten years. The controversy of their fate is going to be decided by now at Ethiopian courts.

However the new Ethiopian idea, that allows deportees to return to Ethiopia and recuperate, there is a GREAT gesture and deserves deep-heart appreciation. Those who are alive and have the ability to initiate new life will benefit from this opportunity, even though how to leave Eritrea is another formidable problem.  

The original case of deportation was the association of their geographical origin with their presence in Ethiopia to be a “threat to national security.”  

On the other hand, many may not believe this, but the deportees have played a significant role in disseminating the other side of Ethiopian image among Eritreans who didn’t have the opportunity of exposure to that image. To mention a couple of examples: 

a) When almost all Eritreans were repeating the monotonous government propaganda against Ethiopia, the deportees, usually called AMICES had a lot to disagree. 

b) Amharic music and language have reached so many Eritrean houses and villages to an extent never seen before.

c) Ethiopian TV program, specifically the Sunday program called “MOTO-HAYA” became very popular among the youth.  

So they had challenged Shaebia in different ways. And the government was visibly trying to counteract this trend. Plus there were repetitive trials even by the dictator himself, to accuse them as vectors of social evils like corruption and prostitution as well incurable ailments like AIDS. Amazingly they were unwelcome guests to Shaebia. However, despite all the uncertainties and complexities in their lives, they have been doing their best to cooperate with the inevitable for the sustainability of their life and living.

Nothing good is happening in Eritrea in this day and age. The absence of the rule of law has exacerbated the sufferings of Eritreans as well as Ethiopians living there. For this reason, if there are some who still demand a standardized equivalent response from Shaebia at this time, their expectation is unrealistic. The persistence of such efforts can be nothing more than milking a dead cow. (Reporter 05/24/09 articles by Esubalew Kassa and Getachew Ngatu)

Finally I would like to stress on the importance of the role of human capital in making history. The most fertile economy in history, “Silicon Valley”, achieved its status neither from its land nor its buildings. The only source of the miracle is its human capital. By the same token, Dubai’s success that is flooding the Guinness Book of records is based on its human capital. Contrary to such vivid lessons from history, Eritrean human capital is being wasted in wars commonly termed as aimless, senseless or pointless. So the effort of rehabilitating deported Eritreans in Ethiopia is Ethiopian, Historical and Political. It will save a lot of lives and is going to be a reliable initiation of reconciliation. 

Daniel Tesfayohannes
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