Back to Front Page
The Eritrean Democratic movements should campaign vigorously to bring Isaias   to the International Criminal court

By Petros Tesfagiorgis  01-19-21

On 4 November 2020 the Federal Government of Ethiopia led by Prime Minister   Abiy Ahmed launched the war against the regional government of Tigray.

It is in such dark days that Isaias sent Eritrean solders to join the war in Ethiopia and make them killers and looters? What is left of them they are liable to be sued for a war crime? Ethiopia with 110 million population has enough manpower to run its wars. Sending huge number of Eritrean armies to war in Ethiopia if not an extermination of the Eritrean youth what is it then? Isaias has an ulterior motive it is not only a revenge to settle old scores with TPLF (Tigray), but he is also seizing the momentum to have the Eritrean army perish in the deadly Ethiopian civil war. News started to come out of the deaths and wounded of Eritrean soldiers. Also, there is news coming out that many Eritreans troops are duped to join in the war and flee whenever they get the chance. Why is Isaias sending Eritrean troops in Ethiopia’s Deadly civil war? On 8 September 2001 Isaias arrested the top government officials and leaders of the armed struggle (the G-15) in order to frustrate their demand to implement the constitution and call for a general election.  The demands were being covered by the private newspapers and drew the attention of many people particularly Students. The arrest was a coup d’état that killed any chance to establish a democratic government elected by the people.  Since then, he became an unchallenged despot and ruled Eritrea with an iron fist without constitution, and rule of law. Isaias plunged Eritrea into darkness. However, Isaias has never felt safe. His nightmare is that one day the people of Eritrea, particularly the youth, will rise up and get rid of him. To secure his power he chose a policy of repression and ruled the people by fear. Isaias closed the only university in the country. The school leaving year 12 th grade was made to take place in isolated area called Sawa Military training camp where academic freedom is denied. The students are subjected to indoctrination   to internalize the value of blind obedience to Isaias. Anyone who showed independent thinking or dissention faces   severe punishment like torture and solitary confinement. For years ERI-TV the only one in Eritrea was engaged is sawing the seed of hate demonizing TPLF and Tigray – bombarding the people of a threat of Weyane (TPLF) invasion. The propaganda built the personality cult of Isaias asserting that it is only Isaias that can save Eritrea.  Thus, the regime turned the youth into programmed robot to hate Tigreans and we see their abhorrent behaviour in killing civilians and looting in Tigray. The behaviour of the Eritrean army is also reflected in the way they treated the Eritrean refugees, their brothers and sisters, in Tigray. There are   96,000 Eritrean refugees located in 4 camps in Tigray. The Eritrean army entered the refugee camps, started killings, looting and kidnapped more than 8000 refugees and took them to Eritrea. Their where about is not known. It is with the same mind-set that the army carried out with impunity Isaias’s shoot to kill policy of any Eritrean found crossing the border to Ethiopia or Sudan. After the end of the war in 1991 we Eritreans dreamt to build a prosperous society and live-in peace with ourselves, with Ethiopia and the rest of our neighbours. Instead over the last 30 years we are experiencing the mysterious evaporation of the dreams. Nowadays other than Eritreans there are voices who want to see Isaias go. On 25 June 2020 there was virtual expert discussion on Eritrea in the German Parliament, Bundestag. Among the 60 participants from 10 countries there were MPs from 3 German political parties. The expert speakers reached a consensus   that the regime has no wish to end the human rights violations in Eritrea. They gave up on him. In conclusion Cooperation with the wider Eritrean democratic movements was recommended. However, it is the Eritrean democratic movements that should play a leading role in campaigning to end the brutal and destructive rule of Isaias. The International community who wishes the removal of Isaias need to hear the strong voice and sense of mission of the democratic moments. We have to come up with concrete initiatives and plan of action. The priority is to revive the UN Inquiry commission plea to refer Isaias to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for committing crime against humanity. This is the right thing to do. And it will make a difference in many ways.

Once we take the initiative those Governments who are taking up the issue of Eritrea’s involvement in the Ethiopian civil war and    Eritrean army entering the refugees’ camps would support the move to get rid of Isaias.

In answer to Lord Alton’s question concerning the Eritrean refugees in Tigray. We are very concerned at reports that Eritrean troops have entered Ethiopian refugee camps in Tigray and forced a number of refugees to return to Eritrea. If proven, this would be a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law (IHL). Alleged violations of IHL must be investigated to secure respect for IHL and prevent future violations, including as necessary through international criminal tribunals. “Let me highlight On the other hand, the involvement of Eritrea in the war is taken as a breach of the African Union’s - non-interference in the internal affairs of member countries. It is also taken as an invasion of Ethiopia by Eritrea. The argument is just started.

The action plan can be strategized to address the following.

To plan advocacy campaign to persuade the UN and the international community to honour the referral to ICC. To put pressure on UNHCR to find out the where about of the 8000 refugees kidnapped from Tigray. And see the refugees in Tigray are protected and get access to food supplies, water and health care. There is a terrible news that Shimelba Camp is no safe area, food  supplies is not coming, people are collecting grasses boil them and eat to survive.

Asses the famine in Eritrea because of the lockdown Also the border with Ethiopia areas where the people of Eritrea and Ethiopia are trapped. The UNHCR and the Red Cross could find out about this.

Assess the famine in Eritrea because of the lockdown. Also, the border with Ethiopia areas where the people of Eritrea and Ethiopia are trapped. The UNHCR and the Red Cross could find out about this.
Full Website