Asmara Eritrea - October 5th 2005
A few weeks ago the UN
published its 15th annual
report, ranking the worlds countries by social
and economic indicators, measuring the well being of the countries
citizens (Human Development
Index). But a higher ranking, social and economic advancement, is not just
dependent upon the governance of the nation, but also upon the regional
cooperation between nations.
Walking through Asmara, the
results of the stagnating peace process are becoming more obvious every
time I visit Eritrea. The 'no war, no peace situation' is devastating both
the Eritrean and the Ethiopian economy. Rising crude oil prices are
further accelerating the deterioration of the standards of living of the
Eritrean and Ethiopian people. Transport is essential, one of the
backbones of every nations economy, but is becoming increasingly
Although the Eritrean
government is doing its best to invest in good public transport, infrastructure
projects, education, health services and other projects to meet the basic
needs of its citizens, the western world is still frustrating these
attempts by their apathy regarding still tense situation in the Horn of
Africa. UNMEE spent 1 billion US dollars in the last five years. What is
there to show for the magnitude of this expenditure? Nothing, but a
stalemate. No war, no peace.
Development aid should not be
regarded as a noncommittal charity, but should be dependent upon
commitment to sustained peace and security. Aid, no matter how much, will
be more productive in a context of peace and cooperation. Investments in
peace and cooperation between Eritrea and Ethiopia are more likely to
improve their HDI ranking then the traditional goals of development aid,
fare trade and human rights watch.
Today is two years, two weeks
and two days since the peace process formally entered its stalemate phase
(On September 19th 2003 Prime Minister Meles Zenawi sent a letter in which
he rejected the EEBC's rulings). The Ethiopian Prime Minister is now calling for a 'dialogue'.
The 'rich' history of Ethiopia
includes many hundred thousands victims of famine, while another hundred
thousand of its people were victims of a senseless war. The Ethiopian
regime turned Ethiopia's heritage into a bloody history, and if peace
holds off, a bloody future. Ethiopia should cooperate to stop this war.
should be encouraged to accept the Boundary Commission's decision AND to
take the necessary steps to allow border demarcation, and start feeding
its people, instead of its guns. The Western World should stimulate this
process by making
development aid to Ethiopia dependent upon the progress of the process towards a
lasting peace and normalization of the relations.
Today nothing special
happened. I visited families and friends. It is the last day of my two
weeks visit to Eritrea. I saw their 'situation' and a
made them a promise: to expose their 'situation' to the web, because they
They all face the same problem: boundaries are still approximates
and thousands of 'brothers and sisters' - on both sides of the border -
are involved in the military, as Ethiopia is still refusing to demarcate the border in defiance of an international boundary commission ruling,
where they might have spent their time and energy to
lift their country to a higher HDI ranking.
"I Didn't Do
It For You"
by Michela Wrong
- UK subtitle: How the World Used and Abused a Small African Nation
- US subtitle: How the world betrayed a small African nation
- 400 pages with several maps and fifteen photographs
- Harper Perennial - July 2005 - ISBN 0007150954
License plate - Eritrean Defense Forces
04818 - Asmara Eritrea.
Cathedral Snack bar - Asmara Eritrea.
Banner announcing a movie -
Cinema Impero Asmara Eritrea.
French embassy &
Alliance Francaise - Asmara Eritrea.
Residential villa - Asmara Eritrea.
Taxi at the Massawa bus
terminal - Asmara Eritrea.
Sembel Housing Complex (Enda
Korea) - Asmara Eritrea.
Dembe Sembel School - Sembel
Housing Complex Asmara Eritrea.
Sembel Housing Complex - Asmara Eritrea.
Sembel Housing Complex - Asmara Eritrea.