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Eritrea is a victim of international misinformation: Italian reporter

Asmara, Eritrea

( This article was translated from Italian to English via online software)

A report from a beautiful country victim of a sensational case of international misinformation. With a proposal 

By Guido Talarico

Eritrea is a country marginalized and forgotten, the victim of a sensational case of international misinformation orchestrated by Ethiopia, with the support of its main ally, the United States, and the indifference of Europe. The truth, no one says, originates from the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea. A decades-long conflict which ended with the Algiers Agreements of 2000, leading to a UN resolution in 2002. But the government of Addis Ababa has never left the Eritrean territories of Badme unduly occupied and has never respected the UN resolution.

So the state of war has continued since then and continues. For 16 years the great Ethiopia, with the consent of his powerful allies, he decided to crush the little Eritrea not respecting the peace agreement, keeping it in a constant state of military alert and condemning it to isolation.

A war fought not with the weapons but imposing insecurity and poverty. This is a reconstruction of the facts clear and easily documented but that did not stop at that journalism visiting countries with Google earth and which relies on more tissues that have their eyes and their craft to paint Eritrea for what is in fact It is not, bringing in the years exclusion more extreme.

I say this to avoid any misunderstanding: in Eritrea, there is no democracy as we understand it; with the elections, the presence of several political parties and with all the freedoms to which we are accustomed. But you can not ignore the fact that the tax is a situation of neither peace nor war and preventing a full democratic normality.

And for a country that is in a state like that, for more common to many other countries in Africa and the Middle East, many of them friends and allies of the US and EU, and as such protected and acclaimed, you can ask for more democracy and respect for human rights when the enemy is at the door, when the whole world has excluded and forgotten? You can groped to reduce hunger an entire people because they do not respect the international conventions when his enemy is the first that has not respected? No, you can not. Because democracy is a luxury that you can not afford when the entire population is sleeping with Kalashnikovs under my pillow for fear of being overrun at any moment. It is a question of priorities. How many unfinished democracies in the world and there are many in Africa? To all these is touched marginalization inflicted Eritrea? No, sir.

Eritrea is over so not for his sins but only by the will of his enemies. Moreover in addition to the explicit statements made ​​by President Barack Obama in favor of international sanctions against Asmara and the US support to Ethiopia, just fiddle around a bit 'of Wikileaks to find evidence of the strategy of Addis Ababa and Washington.

For example when in August of 2013 it was learned that the CIA and supported the Ethiopian Eritrean opposition forces in order to overthrow the government of Isaias Afewerki . And that sanctions imposed in Asmara for an alleged support for terrorism Somali were a hoax say it in so many. For example, the former Italian Ambassador Cesare Maria Ragaglini who, commenting on the report that led to the sanctions, spoke of "misleading information and violations of the arms embargo is not documented".

Russia instead termed the report as the result of "reprehensible conclusions and baseless", while even more explicit was the director of the Peace Building Center of the Horn of Africa , Taiser Ali : "Eritrea - he said - is the most misunderstood country in world". And then there's the whole narrative of the disrepute on refugees and on press freedom. Certainly those who can escape from the country. They do all the dispossessed of the world, so do the Eritreans fleeing war and poverty.

Speculation on the Eritrean Diaspora however is perhaps the most infamous of the disinformation campaign organized to hit Asmara. It has been orchestrated a system for which every African refugee who is said Eritrean, political persecution, and, better yet, if he declares that he was tortured or raped, automatically acquires refugee status and with it an entry into Europe .

Traffickers of men are the first to explain this trick. That's why all Eritreans fleeing tell terrible stories, which is why it was found that many "refugees" Eritreans are actually Somalis or even Ethiopians. Which explains how the diabolical machinations concocted against Asmara has also misled many humanitarian organizations that oversee the refugees.

Religion also plays a role. Afewerki has always defended the secularism of the state to prevent religious tensions creating a problem for a country whose population is 65% Christian (Coptic) and 35% Muslim (Sunni). So he has banned all forms of new proselytizing. Which meant that the peaceful co-existence in his country would continue but also provoked the ire of both Catholics (such as the Comboni missionaries) that the Sunnis (Saudi wanted to open new madrassas in exchange for new loans).

As a whole, then, this strategy of systematic mockery painted eyes of the world Eritrea for what it is not. Which has exacerbated the historical problems of the country and blocked the democratization process started in 1993. Despite this, Eritrea has made extraordinary strides. From 1991 to 2014, the population with access to water increased from 14 to 80%, employment by 30 to 80%, the vaccination of children less than one year has passed from 76 to 99%. 350 were made between hospitals and doctors garrisons and developed across the country irrigation systems created through dams of various sizes. In short, despite the war, the sanctions and the international isolation the country has grown, starting a growth supportive. Even the freedom of the press, which according to the prevailing clichés would like Eritrea ranked last (even after North Korea!), Appears as a problem magnified to art. All these years have often sprung sheets managed by the opposition only to discover in more than a circumstance such as this "free press" was actually in the pay of Addis Ababa.

Also in this case we are in a situation of abnormality, but certainly not for how it is painted. I can testify personally indeed a positive experience: I got a visa in two days and once in Eritrea have been able to move at will throughout the country interviewing people wanted. Finally a word on what appeared to me as the biggest lie. Eritrea and on the Web much press is portrayed as a violent place and insecure. Nothing further from the truth. In seven days I walked around Asmara , Massawa and Keren . I visited dams in the desert and remote villages, the cement factory Gedem and the Bisha Mine . All over I met two policemen, two more with the bike, and a single armed guard. Nothing armored, anything military. Never a feeling of discomfort, much less dangerous. I photographed everything and a fellow trader, Marco Monti, has even raise a Videodrone in the skies of Asmara. Nobody told us anything. People are then a composure and dignity that has no equal. It is therefore time for the United States (maybe with the new President Hilary Clinton , if you will do it) and Europe of Merkel (who has already sent Gerd Muller , his minister for cooperation) rimettano things right.

If Ethiopia will respect the peace treaties and will withdraw from Badme, Afewerki will have no further excuse and will have to restart the process of democratization as well, in his early years in power, he had tried to start. With newfound peace, it can and must renegotiate dell'agognato access to the sea for Ethiopia and normality and give perspective to the entire area of the Horn of Africa. Which, with a dangerous turmoil in the Arabian Peninsula and the phenomenon Isis to curb and control throughout the Middle East and north Africa, it would not be a trivial result.

In order to promote a peace process of this magnitude could play a decisive part the Pope Francis, as it did with Cuba, and Matteo Renzi, whose international role can and should grow. Infrastructure and beautiful building that we left in Eritrea have maintained a strong tie with Italy. But the real turning point could be the culture, one of the most powerful weapons that mankind has available.

And that's why I decided to post on Inside Art my overall impressions on the trip to Eritrea along with a proposal. Which is this: I'd like to organize itself in Asmara a Biennale of Contemporary Art , with street artists in the forefront. It is a city that lends itself very well. It would be a quick and strong to break the isolation, to prove that there is freedom and proclaim to the world the desire for normality of wonderful people which is Eritrean. It would be a way to reopen the doors to the international community of a splendid territory. I am sure that the art world would welcome this idea with enthusiasm. We'll see what they think in Asmara ...

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Eritrea is a victim of international misinformation: Italian reporter Reviewed by Admin on 1:08 PM Rating: 5

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