Why is the world not holding Isaias Afwerki accountable for the Ethiopian crisis?

Passive support even admiration of the cruel tyrant Isaias Afwerki does not help the cause of African development

When will Africa learn that protecting evil dictatorships like Eritrea will always be an impediment to building a better and stronger Africa? Passing the one year mark of the human caused catastrophe of the Ethiopian war what most strikes me is the lack of discussion of the role Eritrea has played. 

The 1995 movie, The Usual Suspects, has a quote that has become iconic  “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist “. This most aptly describes the tyrant of Eritrea. While we hear constant commentary about Ethiopia and Tigray we hear next to nothing on how the most notorious master manipulator Esaias Afwerki masterminded not only what is going in Ethiopia but adding to chaos in Sudan.

Even though Eritrea competes with North Korea as to who is most egregious violator of human rights among the countries of the world it shamefully was elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council mostly by endorsement of other African nations. The faulty notion that protecting African sovereignty and prominence in international affairs means accepting cruel and vicious leadership is allowable contributes significantly to much of Africa’s human rights struggles.  The situation is so bad in Eritrea that a special envoy to follow it was created by the UN.  Mohamed Abdelsalam Babiker, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, presenting his oral update, said this year he had seen no concrete evidence of progress or actual improvement in the human rights situation in Eritrea. 

If one wants to be generous to Abiy Ahmed that initially he had better intentions toward building Ethiopia this assumption can only be defended by pointing the finger to his naivete to the mal-intentions of the diaspora clerico-fascists and Isaias Afwerki. Yet these two entities remain obscured  in the discussions of how this cataclysm developed. 

Author: Professor Tony Magana

Professor Tony Magana is Head of the Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences at Mekelle University in Mekelle, Ethiopia. He directs a neurosurgery residency and training program as well as neuroscience research.

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