I earlier published in full Jeffrey Feltman’s article in Foreign Affairs, to which this is a reply.
I leave it to my readers to judge.
Open Letter to Foreign Affairs Magazine
On Dec 30, 2022
Foreign Affairs Magazine published an article entitled: “Ethiopia’s Hard Road to Peace”, by former US Special Envoy, Jeffrey Feltman, on 26 December this week.
The misleading title notwithstanding, Feltman’s underlying and transparent intentions are to stoke a new and wider war in the region.
This is not surprising in many ways. Indeed, when Feltman was appointed as the US Special Envoy to the HOA, his first and awkward public act was to disparage and label in very pejorative terms, his potential hosts – the governments and leaders of Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia. For him, the Tripartite Summits between Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia were malign architectures that posed, in his warped perspective, “a threat to regional peace and stability”. The historic Eritrea-Ethiopia Peace & Friendship Agreement was cast in the same negative light.
These provocative public pronouncements could not be shrugged off, even then, as diplomatic gaffes that stemmed from lack of tact or experience. They illustrated, from the get-go, the sinister objectives of his mission which boiled down to resuscitating the TPLF under any means and through various subterfuges.
Feltman’s pipedreams have of course been fully frustrated with the demise of the TPLF. His irrational wrath is thus directed, at this point in time, mainly towards Eritrea.
Feltman’s current fixation on Eritrea is, indeed, borderline obsession. In the article that was supposed to discuss Ethiopia’s peace process, he cites Eritrea over thirty times and President Isaias Afeworki, over twenty-five times. He purposely tries to demonize Eritrea; it’s leadership and its people by constantly harping on, and dubbing Eritrea, as the “largest potential spoiler”. This is a glaring case of the “the pot calling the kettle black”. In its history, even prior to its independence, Eritrea has always been consistent and principled on the promotion of regional peace and stability; on building mechanisms and modalities for mutually beneficial ties of regional economic cooperation; on concerted and collective regional action to fight and root out fundamentalist extremism etc.
Unable to control his frustrations, Feltman veers towards ghastly acts of extreme witch-hunting of Eritrea. He advocates for “international solidarity and action” to strangulate Eritrea. He recommends for the “re-imposition” of the illicit UNSC sanction against Eritrea as well as stripping it of its sovereign seat at the UN HRC. He instigates Eritrea’s neighbors in the Horn and wider Middle East/Gulf Region to forfeit their natural interests and gang-up against this small country. He tries to foment discord and conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia through wicked insinuations and conjectures.
And all the while, Feltman feigns oblivious of the origins and dynamics of TPLF’s War of Insurrection and choice; why the region was plunged into this quagmire in the first place. In the event, it is important to re-emphasize these salient facts to put matters in proper perspective:
- The almost two-years long vicious war in northern Ethiopia was triggered solely and only because the TPLF launched massive, premeditated, and coordinated military assaults on all the contingents of the Northern Command on the night of 3 November 2020. The TPLF deployed 250,000 Militia’s and Special Forces that it had trained throughout the years for the operation that its commanders dubbed as “blitzkrieg”.
- The TPLF’s pronounced objectives in launching its reckless War of Insurrection were to totally neutralize the Northern Command; capture all its heavy weaponry (which constituted about 80% of the EDF’s total ordinance) and topple the Federal Government.
- Annulment of the historic Eritrea-Ethiopia Peace and Friendship Agreement and subsequent acts of continued destabilization of Eritrea was an integral and pronounced part of the TPLF’s War of Insurrection.
- The TPLF’s War of Insurrection was not confined to its reckless military assaults in November 2020. Even when the first offensive was foiled and against the backdrop of successive unilateral and humanitarian cease-fires that were declared by the Federal Government, the TPLF persisted in its war efforts to unleash the Second Offensive from June to September in 2021 and the Third Offensive on 24 August this year. In all these acts, the TPLF commandeered and funneled humanitarian assistance and WFP trucks to its war efforts; and, conscripted tens of thousands of child soldiers as cannon fodder in its costly human-wave war tactics.
These facts illustrate, beyond any shred of doubt, that Feltman’s evil objectives are to wreck permanent and irreversible peace in our region. The burning question is whether this is his isolated stance or a common position, shared, perhaps with subtler packaging, by other circles in the US Administration.
Embassy of the State of Eritrea
To the United States of America
30 December 2022