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04.06.2009 Feature Article

Showing His True Colors: A Despot Speaks

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Although not widely seen on the Internet a TV Channel in Sweden had an interview that was both Interesting and Revealing. The Network TV4 conducted an Interview with Eritrean President Afeworki and some of the statements were revealing.

Eritrean Relations with the Rest of the World can best be described as tenous. It fought a War of Liberation with Ethiopia. After Gaining its Independence a Line of Demarcation was drawn up that left neither party satisfied. To this date Tensions are still simmering along that border. Tensions with Djibouti are strained as well as Eritrean Troops have occupied a small area of that country.

Another Area of Contention is the Status of Press Freedom in the Country. Since Private Media was banned in 2001 several Journalists were thrown into Secret Prisons without being charged or Tried. There have been High Profile cases of Journalists such as the late Fesshay Yohannes who Died in Custody. In 2004 President Afeworki gave an Interview where he stated that He did not know Mr. Yohannes.

When Pressed for Information about the status of Dawit Issac a Eritrean Journalist with Swedish Citizenship the President stated that He didn't know what Crime if any was committed. He also said that "He did something bad." In the Lexicon of Eritrean Politics that can be seen as saying anything that goes against the Current President.

Another Statement President Afeworki Made was Interesting. President Afeworki claimed that there was no actual Private Media outlets in the Country. The Media Outlets were financed by the CIA. This is not the First Time that President Afeworki has claimed that the US Government has worked to Undermine His Government.

More often than not this Claim has centered around Somalia. It seems that every so often that either the UN or the US claims to have Evidence that Eritrea has been supporting the Insurgency in Somalia. The UN often rescinds the claim but rarely will the US do so. Another Area of Concern that the US has with Eritrea is over Freedom of Religion.

It seems that whenever any Leader has issues with Human Rights or Democracy in General they blame the United States. That always seem to be the rule to hiding whatever abuses are being committed. Blaming the US will also have the criticism be placed on the US for Intervening in Internal Affairs. Relations with Iran will also place Eritrea on the Radar in Washington as well.

There is a saying that Absolute Power corrupts Absolutly. Having People put in Prison because they did not write anything about you is a sign of Absolute Power. Being a hero who Liberated a country would lead one to think that such tactics would not be used while in power. Sadly in this case once again when achieving Power one has become a despot again.

by Scott A Morgan

The Author Publishes Confused Eagle on the Internet and Comments on US Policy towards Africa. It can be found at

Scott A Morgan
Scott A Morgan, © 2009

The author has 88 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: ScottAMorgan

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