UAE: Investment or military Interference in the Horn?
Until about two or three years ago, the AU, UN, EU, UK and countries in the Horn, notably Ethiopia before Abiy, had done a great deal to ensure peace and stability in the Horn of Africa. Some of the achievements of the efforts were functioning governments in Somalia and South Sudan, containment of belligerent Eritrea through UN sanctions and focus on socioeconomic development.
All the leaders of the Horn countries, except Esaiss Afewerki of Eritrea, had made great contributions in this regard. But it would be unjust if we don't pay tribute here to the crucial role played by Meles Zenawi, a leader of great vision, skill, dedication and trustworthiness.
With the sudden coming to power of Abiy Ahmed Ali in Ethiopia, all the gains mentioned above have been thrown into the air. Ali's first move was to make Afewerki his ally and together to create havoc in nearly all the Horn countries.
The UAE, just out of the blue, warmly received this alliance of dictators and has been financing their mission of destabilizing the region. They have been working hard in promoting intra- and inter-state conflicts in the Horn with the aim of imposing their satanic wills over the whole region.
In Ethiopia, Abiy Ali in collaboration with Esaias Afewerki has totally violated the Federal Constitution that had been ratified by all the nationalities of Ethiopia. He has dismantled the federal arrangement that had brought peace, unity, and development.
In Tigray Abiy Ali and Esaias Afewerki have been committing crimes against humanity in which thousands of civilians - women, children and elderly people have been massacred.
In this crime Abiy and Esaias have employed hundreds of thousands of their ground troops and war planes, thousands of Amara militias, and Emirati drones. Summary killings, rape and looting by Ali's and Afeworki's troops is rampant. The destruction to property and loss of lives in towns and settlements along highways controlled by Ali's and Esaias's forces is unimaginable. The objective of this act of aggression is to impoverish and subdue the people. What is so devastating in the war on Tigrai is the indiscriminate and continuous bombings by Emirati drones operated by Emirati military personnel. This is however mission impossible as the people of Tigray are putting up stiff resistance against the unjustified war declared on them. There is no doubt this will soon grow to an all-out attack on the dictator’s forces.
Many in Africa, including the Horn, had hoped economic ties would grow with the Gulf countries, considering, particularly, the Horn's proximity to these countries. What all the Horn countries may need is not drones but drains that can be used in the fight against malaria in swampy areas. Modernising agriculture of all types in the Horn countries, for example, could have fostered trade and economic ties with the UAE and other Gulf countries. UAE investment in this and other sectors would have been the most rational course of action to take. This is what one would expect from a country that has over the last 40 or 50 years overcome backwardness and achieved appreciable progress although the main factor for this has been oil money.
The UAE has dashed all these hopes by working closely with Africa's most despotic butcher, Esaias, and Ethiopia's dictator, Abi Ali.
The Horn, as feared, is now in turmoil. Abiy and Esaias are the main culprits in this criminal act. Esaias Afewerki must pull out his troops from Tigray as USA and other countries have warned him. The whole world is now aware of what is happening in Tigray. All this amounts to war crimes and crimes against humanity.
UAE should stop supporting dictators and financing the war on Tigray. It is in its best current and future interest to rather focus on investment and support socio-economic development of Horn countries and become a good partner of Africa's.