The Beginning Of The End Of Eritrean President Isayas Afeworki

By IndepthAfrica
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Jan 26th, 2013
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Eritrea's President Isaias Afwerki listens to a question during an interview with Reuters in the capital Asmara May 20, 2009.

Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki listens to a question during an interview with Reuters in the capital Asmara May 20, 2009.

Ezana sehay

There is a remarkable consistency over the course of human history: every repressive regime perishes not because of destiny’s blows or external onslaught, but because of internal disease.

The imminent slow motion collapse of Isayas Afeworki is no different. After more than two decades of overbearing rule, Isayas’s hermit state has become the object of mockery and contempt of not just on the opposition websites but increasingly in the streets of Asmara as well.

The man who was received with big fan fare and enthusiasm, when he marched in to Asmara, 22 years ago has brought the Eritrean people only war, poverty, brutality and subjugation. Using carnage and tyranny, he established and maintained despotism masked by the stratum of nationalism.

Over the years, there have been multitudes of events that warrant the removal of Isayas: regional transgression, political oppression, crumbling economy, the decaying of the social fabric, to mention few. Even though, for some inexplicable reason he has managed to stave off all and survived to this day.

Some say Isayas has nine lives. Unfortunately for him, fortunately for the Eritrean people, he seems to be on his last one. In other words, he has long lived a precarious existence, but now more than ever. Even the most thick-skinned Eritreans have given up on him.

The current episode that is sharply accelerating the demise of Isayas’s regime is precipitated by the worsening ecosystem of problems which are sending the country in to a down word spiral. That in turn has discharged the fracturing of the ruling party [PFDJ]. Needless to say, the intra-party struggle is in plain sight and the great storm of popular uprising is fast gathering, leading some loyalists and high ranking officials to abandon the boat.

The latest sedition by some courageous members of the Eritrean armed forces is another major step toward the regime’s degeneration. The current kaleidoscope of events in Eritrea is similar in substance to the rejection of dictatorships the world witnessed in what is now referred to as the Arab Spring. As was the case with Kaddafi, Mubarak and Assad, Isayas has lost the battle for the hearts and minds of his own people.

Consequently, the title wave of protest triggered by the Diaspora Eritrean youth is being reflected by the people inside. More than ever, Eritreans are convinced that Isayas’s moral turpitude or his system of government lack the basic element of democratic credentials and are beyond reform. They realize the hope and illusion of that reform died in 2001.

As I mentioned earlier, isayas’s life is a life of perpetual crisis: there have been numerous circumstances when his brazenness reached its peak and give way to awkward periods. His bohemian attitude and abrasive actions have turned the country in to an international pariah. His phony notion of self-reliance economic policy as a substitute for an objective one is still born.

That raises the question; haw did he manage to escape demise for so long? Is he that smart, or the Eritrean people that gullible?

The answer is both and then some. Isayas has managed to create a matrix of monistic philosophy: perpetuated self-aggrandizing, treating the people like flock of sheep.

However, the most power full headwind to change: that is prolonging the regime’s life and holding the country hostage is its impressive security and spy network or apparatus. But, in reality, that only perpetuates the delusion that stability can be maintained by force. As demonstrated in Libya, Egypt, and Syria; no matter how sophisticated or numerous securities a regime deploys, the moment that regime loses the confidence of the people, none of it matters.

Isayas’s private tragedy, Eritrea’s agony: for Isayas, power is his sole ideology, his friend, his concubine and his mistress. His fight to remain in power is the main force dragging the country in to the pit. While the complexities of democracy, justice, economy and peaceful co- existence with neighbors elude him, he instinctively understands power. Some say, it is an obsession bred from decades of rough survival in the Eritrean dry hills [Sahel].

It is this infatuation with power that is prolonging the country’s agony, but also leading to his pit fall. There lies the paradox. Hindering the impending popular uprising is like [quoting wedi Afom himself], -“trying to stop the sun from rising”

In conclusion, those who warn that the collapse of Isayas’s regime is fraught with unpredictable consequences have a point. But they are dead wrong, if they believe that preservation of this terrorist entity is less risky. To the contrary, the removal of Isayas and his peremptory government is the only chance Eritreans have to save their country from the gangrene of systemic destruction.

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