Thursday, October 18, 2007

War - Half a world away

No, I don't mean the hot button-political-issue of the war in Iraq. Rather, I am referring to the increasing friction between Ethiopia and its neighbor, Eritrea.

The history between Ethiopia and Eritrea runs deep. One article stated:

Eritreans are proud of their history, even their colonial history. The Italians ruled the country for 51 years. After World War II, when Italy lost its few colonies, the world was not sure what to do with Eritrea. The superpowers stood by when Ethiopia swallowed it whole in 1962, which started a 30-year guerrilla war that Eritreans call “the struggle.” Their heterogeneous society rallied together, with Christians and Muslims, Tigrinya and Tigre (two of the bigger tribes) and men and women fighting together on the front lines.

The Eritreans won the struggle in 1993 and Eritrea became an independent nation. At the time, the country was in ruins, with few natural resources. Its soil was pebbly and dry. But it possessed collective values forged in the trenches and stressing self-reliance that seemed so different from those of older African nations that were corrupt, debt-ridden and torn by ethnic rivalries.

Unfortunately, for both countries, the last fourteen years has been a bitter struggle over borders. Eritrea was forced to deal with some very hard issues and Ethiopia became a landlocked country - a huge disadvantage in Africa. Border disputes continued into the late 90s, specifically over a particular border town. The UN eventually became involved, but Ethiopia ignored the UN commission who had declared the border town Eritrea's. Eritrea has also violated the treaty, sending troops into demilitarized zones. Neither side is willing to declare peace, both alleging that the other is trying to start another war. Both sides sit with troops at the ready.

This conflict would have been a blip on my radar less than a year ago. Now, it raises a number of emotions, not the least of which is fear. Although my children are tucked safely away in an orphanage in Addis Ababa, located in the center of Ethiopia, miles from the Eritrea border, I'm still scared for their safety. And I'm scared that if things escalate, that we won't be able to travel to bring them home, both delaying their homecoming (perhaps by quite a bit!) and denying us the opportunity for a small peak into their lives up to this point.

As you can see, the longer we go with news about court, the more I can find to freak out about. =(


Anonymous said...

This is sadly too close to home, a case of the guardian of democracy (US) becoming the enforcer and apologiest for a reprehensible regime in Ethiopia, in the name of self interest.

I have commented on the subject before, if you are interested to you can find much more information by following the link below.

NPR Interview of an Author who wrote the history of Eritrea and Ethiopia "I did not do it for you" by Michaela wrong.

Some of the things that are going on in Ethiopia.

and for some history

Gurdian review

Orwell said the future was a boot stamping on a human face, and for much of the 20th century Eritrea seems to have been that face. But against all the odds, the Eritrean people defeated both cold war superpowers in turn, and in 1993 gained their independence through a referendum. Despite the brutalisation and neglect, and despite the troubled times that have followed independence, Wrong offers an uplifting testament to the resilience of the human spirit. Eminently readable and full of fascinating detail, this is a book that deserves and needs to be read.

I hope this will put things in perspective.


Anonymous said...

What kind of Eritrean history are you talking about?

Before British badly cheated the Ethiopians and gave the Ethiopian port city called Matsawa to Italy in the 1880s and that lead to the Adwa battle (1896) between Ethiopian and Italy, even the name Eritrea was not existed. Eritrea means red sea in Latin. Before 1880s the seacoast line of Eritrea was called Bahire Negash (Amharic-the sea coast territory of Ethiopia).

Eritrea is created with foreign occupation. In Eritrea you have at least 9 Ethnic groups. At least four of them are living in Ethiopia, too. The boarder between Eritrea and Ethiopia is drawn by foreign invaders dividing the same community that have long history together.

Eritrea without Ethiopia has no history at all. Go there and show me any historical fact describing them without being they are Ethiopias and to be proud on their heritage. Guardian is doing the same dirty job the way bbc and other British medias are conducting with their false and wrong coverage in Africa and Ethiopia is always the first to be attacked because of she has lots of history and the front runner and example for Africa.

Ethiopia has almost 82 million population. Eritrea has 4 million? Ethiopia has at least a 3.2 million years history. The name Eritrea has about 100 years. What is the guardian saying here comparing Ethiopia and Eritrea? We are not talking here about David and Goliad.

All is rubbish and the same dirty job done by outsiders knows nothing about.

I think those adapted/adopting parents and their family members need to be out of the Ethiopian political issues. There are lots of directions to invest their time and ability to know more about Ethiopia as they are part of this old, great and beautiful nation –Ethiopia because of they are parents, uncles, aunts and family members to the adapted Habesha children born in Ethiopia. Don’t be hijacked to the wrong direction just because of the media told/telling you about which is all lies and intended to destroy the country image. There are a 3.2 million beautiful history in Ethiopia than the BBC and other media coverage doing for the last 20-30 years concentrating only on bad things to destroy the image motivating with hate no one knows why? But they are missing one very important fact. Ethiopia is the promised land where humanity is created, the oldest Christian country, uses own alphabet which is the only alphabet Africa has-Arabic is from Arabia, never been colonised, never been sold as slaves and are naturally beauty with their Habesha look. The hateful, money minded and subjective foreign medias beyond the sea and oceans will never succeed to achieve their intended bad job against Ethiopia. Ethiopia is much more than their foolish thinking thinks about.

We like to see those parents and family members who are adopted and adopting the Habesha children involving with Ethiopia without using foreign media knows nothing about as their guide. What you hear about Ethiopia is totally different what you see by yourself when you reach to the truth. Stop involving in Ethiopian politics for now, and try to know the country history including learning her Alphabets and language-Amharic which sounds as if it has something in common with America.