Monday, June 30, 2008

Dr. Jendayi Frazer Fails to Hide the Bankruptcy of US Foreign Policy in the Horn of Africa!

Dr. Jendayi Frazer Fails to Hide the Bankruptcy of US Foreign Policy in the Horn of Africa! The purpose of Dr. Frazer's trip to the Emerald City, Seattle, was to give a speech on "The Future of Africa and US foreign Policy [towards Africa]". On a pleasant evening on May 29th 2008, about 70 to 100 people, mostly from the Horn of Africa region, were sparsely seated in one of the University of Washington's classroom halls. Dr. Frazer was seen intensely reading some papers that may have been some of the questions and comments people were allowed to email to her through the University channels. At any rate, the meeting started about 5 minutes later than scheduled - presumably to give some chance to the habitual late shows, a habit that is neither appropriate nor is something to be proud of by advertising it as the "qotsera Habesha". Dr. Frazer was introduced, I believe, by the dean of the African studies of the University. The dean, as a moderator, took his sweet time in helping himself by asking some irrelevant questions, which really could have been used by the more than anxious audience who were dying to challenge the guest of honor as it were! In spite of the moderator's unprofessional warning that he was not going to entertain questions or comments related to the Horn of Africa issues, perhaps not surprisingly, the overwhelming questions and/or comments were related to the volatile Horn of Africa region in general and Eritrea in particular. Some of the subjects that were covered were: · "US/Eritrea" relationship in general and the Ethio/Eritrea "Border" issue and US' biased and unprincipled stand against Eritrea in particular · The illegal Ethiopian invasion/occupation of Somalia and US support of it and the issue of "Islamic Court Union" and "Al Shabaab" insurgents · The rigged Ethiopian election and its aftermath in which hundreds of innocent children were mowed down by the Weyane regime · The plight of the "Oromo", "Ogadeni" and other oppressed nationalities of Ethiopia were all addressed to a various degree of intensity. On the US-Eritrea current frosty relationship, she claimed that the "Problem" started when the Eritreans felt they were sidelined by the decision of the Bush Administration to select Ethiopia as one of the four strategic states in Africa; and when the US asked Djibouti for the use of its "Port facility" instead of taking any of the many other African governments, including Eritrea, who had offered the US to use their facility. Hmm, I guess she has to put some spin on the issue. Nevertheless, she told the audience that the US was still trying to develop a good working relationship with all the stake holders including Eritrea –adding "Just last week, President Isaias refused to talk to me and to Condoleezza Rice" to which the audience responded by a thunderous applauds. On the US threat to unfairly label Eritrea as a "Sponsor of terrorism", she said the US security people were still reviewing the facts as they were made available to them. However, she couldn't hide the obvious fact when she said that historically, the Eritreans are against terrorism and that they had fought against it. Their action of supporting various groups appears to get back at Meles rather than some inherent belief in terrorism. When asked how is it that the US is even contemplating to label Eritrea as a terrorist sponsoring nation when, in fact some terrorists have just concluded a gathering of some lost souls under the auspices of the Weyane thugs with the blessing of the US Embassy in Addis Ababa? She simply shrugged it off stating "I don't know anything about it"! On the Ethio/Eritrea border issue, when asked how she could think of visiting an occupied Badme through Ethiopia when Badme has been awarded to Eritrea by the Eritrea Ethiopia Border Commission (EEBC). Her short answer was “I don’t care” and added “Since I was denied to visit the border area though Asmara I had to go through Addis Ababa”! Further, Dr. Frazer repeated one more time the absurd Weyane contention that while the US supports the EEBC "Final and binding" decision, she was concerned about how the separation of families and division of localities could be handled. Interestingly she tried to tell her audience that there was a move to break the ice on the border standstill between Eritrea and Ethiopia by introducing yet another facilitator in the person of retired army General Carlton Fulford the details of his mission she said she was not sure adding she didn't understand why Eritrea rejected that offer either. When asked why the US was reluctant to pressure Ethiopia to abide by the rule of law, she spilled the beans, sort of though, when she rhetorically asked "How can we convince Ethiopia to do anything when we cannot even convince Eritrea?" Of course that message implies that Eritrea was weaker than Ethiopia, a fancy the Bush Administration has been entertaining as a license for Ethiopia to get away with not respecting the EEBC decision, which has asserted its legal conclusion to the so called border row between the two countries. Otherwise, while it is true that the US may not have any leverage against Eritrea that ticks by its own watch, the US and the West surely could have forced the belligerent Weyanes to their knees by threatening the life support amenities Ethiopia continually receives from them! Another admittance by Dr. Frazer was that the African Desk of the State Department was occupied by a bunch of “Young and inexperienced” personnel which we all know by their performance or lack of it! Knowing how loose cannon this least-informed lady at the State Department could be, what was most surprising to many of us, however, was that her callous and irresponsible statement about the "Eritrean penetration" into Djiboutian territory. Talk about arrogance. It doesn't get any better than this. Again, here is a plausible "reason" why the Djiboutian leaders have been acting the way they did the last couple of weeks after all the nice gestures and friendly hands Eritrea has stretched to them! Africa, oh poor Africa! When are you going to have some decent, caring and responsible leaders? On the illegal Ethiopian invasion of Somalia, her spin was that many Somalis were "Encouraging" the US to abandon the war lords that the US had been clandestinely supporting; and support instead the "Internationally" recognized government of Somalia, the so-called "Transitional Federal Government" (TFG). When responding to a question why the US doesn't work with the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) instead with the much-hated TFG, she stated that the US was working with some of ARS members in Djibouti adding she would probably be placing some of its members that had been meeting with US officers "In trouble". There you have it, ladies and gentlemen, from the horse's mouth for the unusual and unwarranted accusation Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed has been labeling against the hand that fed him (Eritrea) over the weekend! She also stated that a cosmetic change of replacing Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi by Prime Minster Nor Hassan Hussein was meant as a conciliatory gesture on the part of the US to get the TFG and ARS to talk! On the killing of many innocent Ethiopian students in Addis Ababa, she of course had to state the politically correct statement, albeit very shallow and disingenuous, that she was not at her current position when the 2005 massacre of Ethiopian students took place and that the US had told Prime Minister Meles of its displeasure about the incident. She also told the audience the usual US line that Meles released some political prisoners on US insistence and that they were working with him to release some more. Finally, and sadly, she said absolutely nothing about the core problem inside Ethiopia - the plight of the oppressed nationalities in Ethiopia - except to state that she knows "Eritrea is arming" all those opposition groups. LOL! Long live the solidarity between the people of the Horn! Berhane Alazar

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