(By Temesgn Kebede, 24 March 2021) –
In belated and apparent admittance that a war is going on in Tigray, the former minster and now PM of Ethiopia stated that it is near irrelevant that young girls and old women are brutally gang raped compared to the soldiers who are emboweled in line of duty.
If such is his understanding of realities, that raping women against their will, is tantamount to soldiers wounded in a battlefields for what they believed and paid for are the same, he is out of reach of reality and no wonder the country is in for a big trouble.
The war started weeks earlier, and we know for sure who instigated it, before the Tigrain counter responded by briefly attacking using long range missiles against enemy launching pads. To argue otherwise in reverse is the last ditch effort of a desperate despot wanting to cover heinous crimes against innocent civilians.
And you the other dingo in the Fustian pack who claims the opposite of the reality on ground. Two demon dictators who want as ever, to apportion and claim Tigrian lands by reducing the Tigrains as their vassals.
In a letter addressed to the Channel 4, through the Eritrean Embassy in London, the same day the PM of Ethiopia admitted their involvement in the war of aggression, the Eritrean denied they have nothing to do with war and their presence in Tigray is a fiction made by the Channel 4.
One is left wondering how these people came to power not surprising the consequences that entails thereof.
What is diplomacy?
According to Marc Finaud, it is a “Representation, protection of national interests, negotiation, reporting, and promotion of friendly relations”. Diplomacy requires professionalism and skills.
- “Representing the sending State in the receiving State”: this task of official representation means that the Ambassador is the personal envoy of his/her Head of State to the Head of State of the host country. Similarly, diplomats working in the host country under the leadership of the Head of Mission are considered as representatives of their governments at all times. This means that they cannot interfere in the host country’s domestic affairs (for instance by making public political statements); they cannot carry out commercial activities; they have a duty of discretion. In order to be protected from local pressures, they enjoy inviolability (of the diplomat, his/her premises and vehicle), immunity of jurisdiction, and tax exemption. However, this does not mean impunity in case they break the local law: they can be recalled by their governments and prosecuted in their home countries or they can be declared ‘personae non gratae’ and expelled. In sum, the skills required here are restraint, integrity, dignity, professionalism. The Eritrean Embassies all over have been accused for soliciting and coercing Eritreans to pay 2% of the income to finance and support the Eritrean government if they did not they risk banning from entry and or visiting the country forever. The Embassies also conduct surveillance against opposition groups living abroad.
- “Protecting and promoting national interests whether diplomatic, economic, commercial, cultural, etc. This includes catering to the needs of one’s nationals living or travelling in the host country, which is also the main activity of the Consulate or Consular section of the Embassy. Diplomats working to serve their countries should therefore display qualities of patriotism, loyalty, national pride, and a good knowledge of their national policies.
- “Negotiating with the Government of the receiving State”: negotiation is an essential part of diplomatic activity. In a bilateral context, between two governments, irrespective of the scope of the negotiation (from a protocol arrangement for an official visit to a wide-ranging trade agreement), negotiation skills require good knowledge of the topic (or reliance on experts); flexibility and readiness for compromise (at the proper moment and not without compensation); and a sense of win-win outcome. In a multilateral context, with potentially multiple partners and adversaries, negotiation is more complex but requires the same skills, and, in addition, a sense of initiative and coalition building. Let’s above all remember the wise words of Hans Blix, the former Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA): “It is underestimated how important dignity is between people and how important it is not to humiliate.”
The letter the Embassy of Eritrea wrote to Channel 4 regarding the presence of its invading army in Tigray goes against the grain of integrity and honesty required by a diplomatic body in a host country. This was not the first time they did it. They have done it before and got away play race card in their favour.
Now compare the letters send by the Eritrean Embassy on 22/3/21 disclosing and accusing Channel 4 of spreading false rumours as factual to damage Eritrean interest.
On the very day the letter was sent, the PM of Ethiopia admitted to his parliament that Eritrean forces with were and still are actively engaged in a war against his own people, Tigrians, by invitation, after months of denials that there were no Eritrean forces plundering, killing, and raping women and young girls!
What do you learn from such people holding high offices? They are no better than gangs running and controlling rackets. What is diplomacy?
Channel 4 ought to sue the Embassy for defamation and demand the deportation of such officials untrustworthy of the office they hold.