A Leopard Never Changes His Spots: The Truth about Isayas Afewerki

By the Strathink Editorial Team

A leopard never changes his spots. He just changes what tree he sleeps in. And so it is for Eritrean President Isayas Afewerki. After twenty years of “no war, no peace,” Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was able to bring his recalcitrant neighbor to the table. The two leaders met in both Eritrea and Ethiopia, agreeing to resume flights, cross border trade and diplomatic relations. Ethiopians and Eritreans alike embraced the peace and the international community scrambled to offer further incentives to entrench normalizing relations. It’s a win-win.

Not so fast.

Behind the smiles that lit up President Isayas’ face during the whirlwind of events that marked the opening of diplomatic relations between the two countries are the sharp teeth have devoured Eritrea’s people. The one downside of the recent peace is the rehabilitation of a classic strongman whose government has been accused of gross violations of basic human rights to the level of crimes against humanity.

Eritrea is known as “the North Korea of Africa” and, so far, nothing has changed. No ratified constitution. No elections. No freedom of press, No freedom of speech. No freedom to practice your religion if it is not one of the four state-recognized religions. Constant surveillance of the people. Tens of thousands of Eritreans have disappeared in the black hole of prisons. Indefinite national service. Young Eritreans are still risking their lives crossing the border to flee oppression.

No one can deny the dividends of peace between between the two countries. At the same time, no one can deny that the Eritrean people live under a black cloud of oppression and political stagnation that has suffocated a people who won their independence after 30 bitter years of struggle.  It is a sad but inexorable fact that the Eritrean people have given so much and have gotten so little in return from their leadership.

Eritrea’s leadership is supported by a global  cadre of expatriates living overseas away from the daily crush of tyranny–providing remittances through the 2% tax and serving as proxies for a government mired in old school authoritarianism. There are many Eritreans living outside the country who defend President Isayas at all costs–easy to do while enjoying the freedoms that ordinary Eritreans are denied.

And so we publish this editorial reminding people about the President Isayas’ true nature  knowing that we will be the target of Eritrea’s expatriate social media blitz. We will be accused of being “TPLF murderers,” “weyene genociders,” and all kinds of insults in the name of maintaining the mythology of President Isayas. The facts about President Isayas really don’t matter. The facts about the ethnic origins of the Strathink Editorial Team really don’t matter. The facts about Ethiopia really don’t matter.

Facts really don’t matter at all. It all comes down to what President Isayas wants the world to think about his leadership. Since he cannot point to anything positive about repression, he will ask his cadres–including the Atlantic Council’s Bronwyn Bruton– to shift attention to demonizing the TPLF. In that way, he can further promote his image as a statesman as well as the dominant narrative concerning the TPLF. For Isayas, it is a win-win.

The President’s smile cannot hide the sharp teeth of repression and the President’s people cannot hide the truth about Isayas. Winston Churchill said that truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Responses to “A Leopard Never Changes His Spots: The Truth about Isayas Afewerki”

  1. wedinakfa says:

    Losers waffling anything anything that comes to their mind, perhaps about time to name change to DIM THINKERS OR join melles 6 meters DEEP, I suggest the later befitting and mark my word YOU WILL!!! as a fact what did what did HE PM Dr. Abiy said was “a dying person does not know he/she is dying except the embalmer”

    LONG LIVE ERITREA
    DEATH TO TPLF AND STOOGES!!!

  2. wedinakfa says:

    “The President’s smile cannot hide the sharp teeth of repression and the President’s people cannot hide the truth about Isayas. Winston Churchill said that truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”

    LOOOOOOL you lot are really funny like a children playground makers but the end is TPLF is DEAD and the GAME IS OVER!!!

    whether HE President Isu has a sharp teeth or a brilliant mind he has trampled, mashed and pissed on your head and mouth, what more do you want and he came to your yard and he danced and smiled like never before, now can Melles bit that? NO no the midget is DEAD and the GAME IS OVER!!!

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