WikiLeaks.Org: Flashback-ETHIOPIA'S PLANS AND INTENTIONS FOR ERITREA: For Ethiopia “going to war with Eritrea is a waste of resources that would achieve very little”
Posted by: Berhane Habtemariam
Date: Sunday, 09 July 2017
ETHIOPIA'S PLANS AND INTENTIONS FOR ERITREA (C-AL7-00598)
For Ethiopia “going to war with Eritrea is a waste of resources that would achieve very little”
My short Note: The narrow minded TPLF Gang led Ethiopian Regime was dreaded/scared to death by President Isaias Afewerki of Eritrea in particular and the EPLF/PFDJ led Eritrean Army in general and it does evenstill now.
July 10, 2017
2007 April 24, 12:49 (Tuesday)
B. ASMARA 386 (NOTAL) Classified By: AMBASSADOR DONALD YAMAMOTO. REASON:
1.4 (B) AND (D). 1. (U) Post responses are provided per ref A.
A. (S/NF) WHAT ARE ETHIOPIA'S PLANS AND INTENTIONS FOR DEALING WITH ERITREAN PRESIDENT ISAIAS AND THE BORDER IMPASSE?
---------------PERCEPTIONS OF ERITREA -------------
2. (S/NF) Prime Minister Meles and the hard-core elements of the ruling Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF) view Eritrea as a state in collapse whose population, if supported by the outside and encouraged by open internal dissension, would revolt against Isaias. The Prime Minister and his cabinet view going to war with the people of Eritrea as a waste of limited resources that would achieve very little. At this time, Meles opposes any war with Eritrea as a futile effort with little benefits, distracting Ethiopia from more pressing issues: Somalia and Sudan.
3. (S/NF) Dealing with President Isaias and the border impasse are two distinct yet interrelated problems. Further, how Ethiopia and its leadership view Isaias and Eritrea, two separate issues, also influences how they will deal with Isaias specifically and Eritrea generally. Perceptions by Meles and his leadership, whether correct or not, have become more emotional and more firmly negative toward Isaias, and have shaped the approach, whether wise and logical or not, that Ethiopia is taking towards Isaias.
--------------------- PERCEPTIONS OF ISAIAS --------
4. (S/NF) President Isaias is viewed by Meles and his government as an extremely dangerous, hostile, and evil individual whose sole goal is to make Eritrea the dominant power in the Horn of Africa and to promote Isaias' role as paramount leader in the region. Ethiopia stands in the way of Isaias' desire for dominance in the region. Meles and the TPLF leaders believe Isaias has no "death wish" but that Isaias' self preservation does not merely mean survival, but forcing others to make sacrifices, from enduring great economic hardship to even the pain of death, to ensure Eritrea's continued existence and eventual elevation of Isaias as primus inter paris leader in the region. Meles and others firmly believe that Isaias knows that he lacks the military might to confront Ethiopia directly. Isaias' strategy, Meles believes, is to attack Ethiopia by expanding the battlefield to include destabilizing Somalia and using Sudan to conduct attacks on western Ethiopia (e.g., Gambella); increasing tensions between Djibouti and Ethiopia over use of the port of Djibouti, the main lifeline for landlocked Ethiopia's access to the Red Sea; training anti-Ethiopian rebels; supporting internal political divisions in Ethiopia; planning terrorist attacks on public areas and assassinations of Ethiopian leaders; and keeping the international community off-balance to minimize criticism and sanctions of Eritrea. In our conversations with Isaias over the years, he has made it clear that any future conflict with Ethiopia would be "war by other means" and not a direct military battle of "interior lines" of both forces.
------------------- DEALING WITH ISAIAS -------------
5. (S/NF) Meles and his leadership believe that dealing with Isaias directly or indirectly is dangerous and detracts from more pressing and immediate challenges. For Meles and his leadership, Ethiopia's national strategic interests lie in stabilizing Somalia, eliminating extremist threats, and establishing a government in Mogadishu that has wide clan support and is closely aligned with Addis Ababa. The other ADDIS ABAB 00001275 002 OF 007 threat is Sudan. As Meles deeply fears that an unstable Sudan potentially poses a greater threat to Ethiopia's security and to regional stability, he looks to the international community to stabilize Sudan. Between these two pressing and dangerous situations is Isaias. Isaias hosts 30 different opposition groups, and his more effective management of groups opposed to Ethiopia, in contrast to Ethiopia's clumsy and ineffective efforts to support groups antagonistic to Isaias, underscores Isaias' potential to add to regional instability. Historically, Meles' approach was to carefully keep Isaias in a "box" by strengthening Ethiopian forces along the border, neutralizing Eritrea's influence in Somalia, and increasing Eritrea's isolation in the international community.
6. (S/NF) But now, Meles sees that this approach must be modified to include more vocal criticism of Eritrea as a "rogue state" sponsoring terrorism and seeking to destabilize the region. The Foreign Ministry has pressed the international community to openly criticize Eritrea, and wants to introduce UN Security Council resolutions and African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC) communiques condemning Eritrea as a state sponsor of terrorism. Further, Meles has elevated Eritrean opposition groups in Ethiopia, designating GOE State Ministers, rather than office directors, to deal with them. Meles is also carefully working the Sanaa Forum and IGAD to increase pressure and isolation of Eritrea: Eritrea's recent decision to suspend participation in IGAD followed an April 13 IGAD Ministerial communique endorsing Ethiopian actions in Somalia as "fully consistent" with the region's goals. Meles has commented to us that he is in a "bind". He does not want, nor can he afford, to go to war with Eritrea, because it will divert resources from the more important goal of stabilizing Somalia for now and perhaps Sudan down the road. For now, Ethiopia will not go to war with Isaias and will not take any extraordinary measures to neutralize him, but expects the international community to pressure Isaias on his destabilizing activities. We have assured Meles that we recognize Eritrea's unhelpful activities, but that Meles should focus on our mutually shared efforts in Somalia: providing force protection for AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops, support for Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG), and security at the airport and seaport and for the upcoming national reconciliation conference.......................
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