Introduction

With a hefty report of the UN Monitoring group expected this June, the Eritrean regime’s reaction has reached its hysterical level. Its supporters in diaspora are working at a frantic rate to send petitions and organize rallies. The regime’s anti-Americanism is to be seen in every editorial that Shabait.com is churning out. The fear that sanctions might tighten because of the illegal acts it has been involving itself with since sanctions were imposed on it– arming extremists in Somalia, arming rebels against South Sudan, heavy involvement in human trafficking, etc – is driving the government to lash out at the USA in its usual irrational way. Below (except for the conclusion part) is its latest reaction, a sample of the many “announcements” or “editorials” it has been making in Shabait.com:

Senior Official Exposes Washington’s Pressure To Undermine The Work Plans Of Eritrean Airlines

Asmara, 27 June 2011 - A senior Eritrean Foreign Ministry official said that the US Administration has applied pressure prohibiting companies from leasing aircraft to Eritrea. He stated that Washington is resorting to such illegal acts as part of its hostile attempts of stiffening anti-Eritrea sanctions, at a time when the Eritrean government is engaged in programs of buying and leasing of passenger planes under a new Pakistani management.

The official further pointed out that this hostile act is not something new, and that the US attempt to prohibit the buying and leasing of passenger planes for Eritrean Airlines  under the guise of bizarre arguments that ‘the planes could be used for military purpose’ constitutes but sheer act of mockery.

Noting that at a time when hostile quarters have failed to gather any valid evidence for ‘stiffening sanctions’ against Eritrea, the same forces are presently engaged in futile attempts to  impede Eritrea’s development drive through blatantly trying to link the Bisha mining project, Eritrean Airlines and the  purchase of machineries …with irrelevant issues. In this connection, the senior Foreign Ministry official underscored that the assortment of lies and baseless accusations that should be thrown into the dustbin of history are but to no avail. Such acts are also the outcome of disturbed minds, he added.  

Conclusion

In his latest interview in Al-Ahram, President Isaias Afwerki claims that the sanctions are military and not economic. He clearly knows that it would be his end if the sanctions are extended to include economic sanctions. What the above Shabait.com hysteria shows us is the fear of the regime in this regard; its mention of the Eritrean Airlines and the Bisha project in particular tells us that economic sanctions would be its worst nightmare. And that is exactly what the opposition should focus at: at sanctioning Eritrea at its two main income sources – the mining companies and the diaspora population.


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