Asmara Form vs. Sanaa Forum: Bond or Cooperation?

The League of Nations of 1920 with its headquarter in Geneva, Switzerland was replaced by the United Nation of 1945, headquartered in New York, USA.  The reason for replacement was ineffectiveness in preventing the Second World War.  Accordingly, the UN with better structure and wider membership has become an effective forum in bringing the foes to the table and resolving world conflicts.

Replacement of forums without clearly defined purposes may not strongly align member countries to committed cooperation and reciprocations.  What gives rise to establishing a nations’ forum is the collective goal and mutual gains from the cooperation of the member countries.  Should any country within the forum have an opposing interest, it becomes a weak point where other competing forums strike to paralyze and weaken the strength of the rising forum.

The Sanaa Forum as the regional cooperation was established in 2002 to include Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia and Yemen.  The purpose of the cooperation was to expand regional businesses and cooperation as well as to protect the peace, security and the stability of the member countries.  Eritrea of Isayas refused to become a member until Ethiopia fully complied with the EEBC’s decision and pulled its troops from the occupied land.  Eritrea of Isayas not only refused to become a member country, but also declared its “no peace, no war,” labelling the Sanaa Cooperation as the forum of belligerent nations.  Soon, the Sanaa Forum started to see here and there destabilization: in Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan and Yemen.

As the countries of the Horne were evolving economically and achieving fast growth, the Sanaa Forum gave effect to its planned circular flow of goods and services within member countries making sure that no member country is left behind.  Through promoting the economic and financial well-being of the member countries’ people, the Sanaa Forum saw that the eternal peace of the region was achievable.

The Sanaa Forum as a form of cooperation was designed to exploit the wealth of the region to benefit the region’s people.  The cooperation was expected to increase reciprocities and broaden the business interaction among the member countries thereby bonding them together through their people’s free interaction.  However, the proposed Asmara Forum, unlike the Sanaa Forum, is suggesting the member countries to bond through imposed addition without taking into consideration the people’s liberty to reciprocate and cooperate.

The proposed Asmara Forum was put to test by those on the first leg on the first flight of the Ethiopian airlines.  They found the streets of Asmara unlike before with conditions that cannot allow the people to be bonded with the people of the first country to be added through the proposed forum.  Yes, it was found that the two countries cannot bond effectively until the bondage (slavery) of the Eritrean people was ended and the people were set free to cross the borders in two directions.  Those on their first leg confirmed that people who are deprived of free interaction were not positioned to respond to the closeness offered by the forum nor develop feelings that foster relationship between the two countries.

The Watermelon Solution for the Hungry and the Thirsty

The first two countries to be bonded under the proposed expansion by addition power of the proposed Asmara Forum, namely Ethiopia and Eritrea of Isayas, were equally weakened to get started their faster than light moves declaring that they found escape routes to establish the new forum in the Horne region.  These two countries, out of their weakness, had to plunge into ending belligerence towards each other in order to find quick solution to their dire and pressing problems.

The two countries were compelled to a watermelon solution, where Ethiopia needed the juice to quench its thirst for hard currency and Eritrea of Isayas needed to make feta of the watermelon rind and flesh to feed its empty stomach after the Sudan closed its borders.  The proposed forum does not define how and under what conditions their future cooperation function once they fully consume the UAE provided watermelon.

In view of the world, the cooperation between the two nations will never develop so long Eritrea remains to be an open air prison of its own people.  If cooperation is to emerge between the two countries and among the other countries of the Horne, the competing forums outside the region should stop interfering in the internal affairs of the new forum.

The scope of the cooperation under Asmara Forum focuses on making the border between and among all member countries meaningless.  But, unless the crossing of the border is in both ways, the border between the two countries cannot be said made meaningless with only the Ethiopians enjoying the two ways border crossings.  Already those on first leg on the first Ethiopian flight felt like they were on prison visitation of the Eritreans who could not leave their cities or towns of residence without applying and obtaining travel permits.

If the Asmara Forum is to be open to all countries of the Horne for membership, it should have stated areas of cooperation among all member countries and how to resolve existing or potential conflicts.  The Yemeni and Djibouti conflicts with Eritrea may not find satisfying escape routes and those conflicts may result in not having the Asmara Forum a clearly defined economic cooperation and long term peace/security that ensures stability in the region.

If the member countries of the new forum (Asmara Forum) are to enjoy and maximize the benefits of their cooperation, the forum should be committed to respecting the rights of the people.  Without the people’s participation, cooperation between nations loses its focal point for economic growth or creation of opportunities to share wealth and resources through circular flow of goods and services.

Only with full participation of the people, the new forum can guarantee and maintain the continued flow of the watermelon’s juice and flesh.  The top urgencies to quench thirst and quell hunger of the two countries should not be used to come up with tantalizing forum for the region without having uniform areas of cooperation among all member countries.  The open border, the re-starting of transportation and trade only apply to the isolated Eritrea of Isayas.  What about the area of cooperation with the other countries of the Horne.  The Sanaa forum clearly spelled out protection of the coasts of the Horne and the Red Sea by maintaining the stability of the region through enhancing the economic cooperation among the member countries.

What’s in Saving Isayas for Qatar or the UAE?

According to some members of the Eritrean opposition, Qatar appeared to believe what was good for Isayas was good for Qatar.  Thus, the likes and dislikes of Isayas used to shape the policy of Qatar in the Horne.

For years Qatar was involved in bribing this and that leader(s) of the Horne countries to give Isayas a breathing space.  Finally, when Isayas was about to be encircled by the Horne-countries, a window of breathing air was opened for Isayas by issuing a warrant of arrest for Omar Al-Bashir of the Sudan.  Sudan appeared to have suffered a lot for accommodating Isayas with a window that facilitated “scratch my back and I will scratch yours” to circumvent the UN’s embargoes imposed on them.

Isayas once again was re-encircled in January of 2018 when the warrant for the arrest or surrender of the Sudanese leader for alleged genocide and war crimes committed has become unenforceable due to many countries’ lack of support.  Immediately, in January of 2018, a decree was issued by Kassala’s governor ordering all border crossings with Eritrea closed.

The 2018 encirclement of Isayas was not breakable without breaking the blocking stones installed by Isayas in order not to get the border dispute resolved amicably based on the EEBC decision.  Qatar was not there either to help giving Isayas a temporary breathing space by bribing a leader of one of the bordering countries with Eritrea.

The war in Yemen along with the uprising in Ethiopia has become a knocking opportunity on the door of devising a relationship with the weak Ethiopia.  On the ruins of Sanaa, it was proposed to replace the Sanaa Forum by Asmara Forum with the blessings and financial support of the UAE.  However, the government of Djibouti immediately retorted by pulling down the shades of the opportunity denying Isayas the promised breathing space.  With Djibouti’s refusal, the declaration of Asmara Forum on the ruins of Sanaa Forum has become part of the global conflict between the powerful actors of the world who are seeking to dominate the world’s businesses and transportations.

At a glance, the proposed Asmara Forum appears to be a quick winning strike for Isayas but in reality he mis-stepped the rungs of his found opportunity and now he is facing a total failure.  Most of all, Isayas lost his supporters who were standing on a single-edged sword insisting no peace with Ethiopia until it pulled its troops from the occupied land.  The Djibouti case and crimes against humanity in Eritrea also become difficulties in the opportunity found by Isayas necessitating obligation and duty on him (Isayas) to cooperate with the UN investigators if he wanted to be considered not a threat to the peace and security of the region.

Until Isayas is relieved by reason of insufficient evidence and the standing cases against him are closed, he is considered not good for any business with country.  Those who seek to save Isayas through the power of money may eventually face the victims’ accusation for their deliberate cover up of Isayas’s alleged crimes committed to destabilize nations and the crimes against humanity in Eritrea.

In support of the peace accord while reminding that only an elected leader followed by the parliament’s approval, a country can enter into agreements with other countries or settle border disputes.


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Posted by on Jul 27 2018 Filed under Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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