On its online edition of 10 May this week, the private Ethiopian newspaper – BORKENA – published an article under the sensational title “Is tension building up between Ethiopia, Eritrea”.
The article is replete with presumptuous assertions, innuendos and outright falsehoods.
- BORKENA misquotes and distorts President Isaias’s recent Interview on the tragic war in the Sudan to falsely claim: “President Isaias of Eritrea criticized that the one who is disturbing the people of the Sudan is the neighboring Bazaar Government’’. These words were never uttered by President Isaias Afwerki. BORKENA could have easily checked the accuracy of this claim as the full English translation of the Interview is available in the public domain. In actual fact, President Isaias was referring to the proliferation of extraneous initiatives which may not be always constructive. In this sense, Eritrea was not interested in the Bazaar of competitive and multiple initiatives although it had maintained consultations with all the parties in the Sudan in a discreet manner from 2019 onwards. President Isaias also underlined that the countries of the region – Ethiopia, Kenya, Eritrea, South Sudan etc. – in brief IGAD, were best placed to facilitate, within a collaborative framework, a solution to the problem of the Sudan – which must be primarily resolved by the Sudanese people themselves – as they remain the countries most affected by the situation.
- BORKENA dwells on baseless and ill-intentioned innuendos to claim that Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. AbiyAhmed was not given “the greenlight to fly to Asmara two times and was waiting for the permission for his request for a third time”. This claim is absolutely false and too ludicrous to merit any response here.
- BORKENA further alludes to obscure sources to speculate: “The Eritrean President is accused of interfering in the affairs of Ethiopia and Sudan and deploying his military force…. It goes on to say (the President) is blamed by cadres of Abiy for providing Fano with military training”. Again this is absolutely false. Eritrea and Ethiopia duly cooperated in the counter-offensive operations to thwart the huge threat that both countries faced when the TPLF regime unleashed its unprovoked War of Insurrection in November 2020. The cooperation freely agreed and worked out by both countries had various components at the time. To stretch this cooperation and peddle false allegations is factually wrong and morally deplorable. There are of course various forces, especially outside the region, which were perturbed by the historic Eritrea-Ethiopia Peace Agreement of 2018 and who continue to leave no stone unturned to scuttle the process. BORKENA may have unwittingly fallen into their trap; or it has all along belonged to the same league, although this has remained under the surface until this latest publication.
- Finally, BORKENA claims that “Eritrea has embarked on new military exercise in all corners of the country”. Again this is pure hyperbole that stems from ignorance; if not driven by outright sinister agenda. The Eritrean army conducts a couple of days’ refresher exercises – mostly physical exercises – of its reserve army every six months or so. The recent physical exercises are the routine norms carried out in peace time.
Ministry of Information
12 May 2023