The Woyane World: Living in the Reciprocal World
By: Embaie Ferrow
December 18, 2003



In 1991 the EPLF defeated the Ethiopian army in Eritrea and together with the army of the TPLF removed from power the military regime that ruled Ethiopia for more than 17 years. In a gesture of good will and for easing the transfer of power in Ethiopia, Eritrea deferred its de facto independence for two years and provided the ports of Assab and Massaua as free ports for Ethiopian goods. Between then and 1997, the two governments signed a number of agreements harmonizing their policies in many fields. A new era was ushered in the region and the leaders of Eritrea and Ethiopia were acknowledged as the new leaders in Africa. Unfortunately, the friendship and hope that ignited the Horn was extinguished in 1998 when the regime in Ethiopia invaded Badme, a sovereign Eritrean territory, and unleashed war along the whole Eritrea-Ethiopia boarder.

The last five years, since the regime formally declared war on Eritrea, the Eritrean people and its leadership have been fully puzzled by the dichotomy of the political identity of the regime in Ethiopia. The war and the ensuing search for peace demonstrate the absence of political integrity of the policy of the regime toward Eritrea and its Government, a policy characterized by endless cycles of deception, lies, denials and inconsistencies. For the regime in Ethiopia, a statement is true and false all at the same time. Currently the EEBC, the UN and the Security Council in particular and the International Community in general are experiencing the same absence of political integrity. It claims to accept the boarder delimitation and yet it rejects its demarcation. It appeals to the International Community to enforce Eritrea to accept the finding of the EEBC as final and binding when the boarder delimitation was made public and declares the same findings as null and void when boarder demarcation was scheduled to start. It praises the Commission for its work in delimiting the boarder and condemns the same Commission for siding with Eritrea when applying the results of the findings.

In this article, I will propose a possible approach, based on the concepts of Real Space and Fourier Space, to make sense of the modus operandi of the regime. I fully realize that the method proposed is mechanical in its content, reflecting professional bias on my part and that the enigma of the policy of the Government in Ethiopia could be psychological in origin. In the first part, I will define the word Woyane as used in the context of the article, introduce the man who created the Fourier World and explain the meaning of the Real and Fourier Worlds. In the second part, I will and use these concepts to monitor the twisted mind of the Woyane.

What is a Woyane?
The word Woyane, originally coined to describe the revolt and uprising of the people of Tigray during the rule of Haile Sellasie between May to October 1943, was usurped by the TPLF to characterize its armed struggle. Today the word Woyane is commonly associated with a regime that is characterized by lies and distortions, wars and famine, ethnicity and ethnic cleansing. A correct understanding of the meaning of the word is, therefore, essential to contain the growth of hate between the peoples of Eritrean and Ethiopia, ease the process of reconciliation and hasten the normalization of relation between the two neighboring countries.

In this article, the word Woyane does not refer to the people of Tigray and its revolution. It refers to the ideology of the Marxist Leninist League of Tigray as formulated in the infamous Manifesto of 1976, an ideology pursuing a Stalinist form of socialism emulated after the teaching of the Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha and pursuing the establishment of the Republic of Greater Tigray. The word Woyane reflects the state of mind of those who support and advocate the policies of the Manifesto and the state of mind of those who accommodate these policies without regard to their national identity. Here we are dealing with a distorted and backward political concept based on historically unjustified territorial expansionism, by violence and war if necessary, at the expense of neighboring peoples inside and outside the Ethiopian state in a futile attempt to bring the illusion of the Republic of Greater Tigray into reality. In short for a Woyane, the creation of the Republic of Greater Tigray is an historical vision to attain at any cost and sovereign Eritrea constitutes an obstacle to the realization of that vision. Any political element that works to compromise the sovereignty of the Eritrean State works to realize the creation of the Republic of Greater Tigray and can be characterized as a Woyane. It is in this respect of the understanding of the word Woyane that one can use it to describe even other nationals that accommodate, by conviction or defeatism, the concepts of the Republic of Greater Tigray. For example, the letter Abdella Idris wrote to Melles Zenawi and the active participation of his group on the side of Ethiopia during the war of aggression on Eritrea clearly accommodates the expansionist policy of the Manifesto and accordingly the word Woyane applies to Abdella Idris and his group as well.

Who is Fourier?
Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier was born in France in 1768. He lost his parents at an early age and his aunt and uncle raised him. The Benedictine monks educated Fourier, but instead of joining the Order he decided to take a position teaching mathematics. While teaching and doing mathematical research the French Revolution caught Fourier and like his contemporaries he was arrested and jailed on a number of occasions. When Napoleon invaded and occupied Egypt in 1798, Fourier was taken along as a scientific advisor and held civil posts during the French occupation but left Egypt for France in 1801. Shortly after his return from Egypt, Napoleon appointed him Prefect of Isère. It is during his tenure as a civil servant that Fourier was able to conduct research into heat transfer in solid bodies, resulting in his formulation on the expansions of functions as trigonometric series, which are now known as Fourier series or Fourier Transforms. Though he won the prize offered by the Academy of Science for his mathematical formulation of the Fourier Transform, his paper was not published until he was elected to chair the Academy in 1817.

What is a Fourier Transform (FT)?
The FT is a pervasive and versatile mathematical tool used in many fields of science to transform a function into one that can be more easily solved. The FT converts an object in the Real Space into an object in the Fourier Space. There are three important properties to remember about FT that are relevant to this article. These are:

  1. Two points that are spaced close to each other in the Real Space are spaced far away from each other in the Fourier Space. Conversely, two points that are spaced far away from each other in the Real Space are spaced closer to each other in the Fourier Space. For example, if two points are 10 decimeter apart in the Real Space, then the same points are 0.1 decimeter apart in the Fourier Space and vice versa. This is the reason why the Fourier Space is commonly referred to as the Reciprocal Space since 0.1 decimeter is the reciprocal of 10 decimeter.

  2. A series of points that have a certain direction in Real Space are rotated to a different direction in the Reciprocal Space when Fourier transformed. For example, if you take the latitudes and longitudes in the Real Space and Fourier transform them, then the latitudes will rotate and become longitudes and vice versa. A point that has a certain coordinates in the Real Space has a different coordinates in the Reciprocal Space.
    While the Real Space, as its name suggests, is real and exists, the Fourier Space, just like an image in a mirror, does not have a physical existence.


Woyanizing Fourier
Now that I have explained the existence of the Reciprocal World and defined its relation to the Real World, I will give some examples to show how the regime in Ethiopia woyanize Fourier. By woyanizing Fourier I mean confusing the properties (like dimensions, directions and time) of one Space with the properties of the other. Here are some concrete examples on woyanization of Fourier, but remember a statement cannot simultaneously be true in both the Real and the Reciprocal Worlds.

  1. Eritrea vs The Republic of Greater Tigray: Eritrea and Ethiopia are two sovereign states that exist in the Real World. The coordinates of their boundary are well defined and have physical meaning (1900, 1902, 1908). The Republic of Greater Tigray, on the other hand, exists in the Reciprocal World (Manifesto 1976, Ethiopian Currency Notes 1997, Tigray Regional Maps 1997, Woyane sites) and as such it has no physical existence. Consequently, the policies of Eritrea and its leadership are real and based on tangible historical facts (colonial treaties, applicable international laws) while those of Woyane are imaginary and have no historical jurisdiction (effective administration, OAU Ambassadors' Findings). As much as an object cannot exist simultaneously in the Real and Reciprocal Space, Eritrea and the Republic of Greater Tigray cannot exist together. For the Republic of Greater Tigray to exist and for the policies of Woyane to be realized, Eritrea should be dismembered and its leadership replaced. This has been a source of conflict between the EPLF and the TPLF during the liberation years and it is the source of the present conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia as well.

  2. Aggression vs self-defense: The World knows now, as Eritrea knew all along, that Badme is a sovereign Eritrean territory. The EEBC has said that in the Real World the coordinates of Badme fall on the Eritrean side of the international boarder. Eritrea occupying Badme is, therefore, not an act of aggression but an act of self-defense. In the Real World a country cannot invade its own territory and start a war. In the Reciprocal World, however, the Republic of Greater Tigray exists and the co-ordinates of Badme fall within the Republic of Greater Tigray. It is only then that Eritrea is the aggressor and Ethiopia the victim.

  3. Asmara vs Mekelle: The inverse relation between the Real World and the Reciprocal World is valid not only to concepts on dimensions and directions but also to concepts on time as well. Two events that happen after each other in the Real Space happen inversely in the Reciprocal Space. If the events happen close to each other in the Real World, then the two events happen far apart from each other in the Reciprocal World. During the war Asmara was bombed first and Mekelle later and yet the Woyane claimed that they bombed Asmara in retaliation to the bombing of Mekelle, a nice example of woyanization of Fourier. As foreign observers confirmed at the time, the Eritrean planes lifted 50 minutes after Asmara was bombed. In the Real World Eritrean bombed Mekelle in retaliation to the bombing of Asmara by Ethiopia. In the Reciprocal World, however, Ethiopia bombed Asmara in retaliation for Eritrea's bombing of Mekelle. As I pointed out earlier, the Real World is real and it exists while the Reciprocal World is imaginary and does not exist. What is true in the Real World is false in the Reciprocal World. In other words, the Woyane was telling a lie when it claimed that it bombed Asmara in retaliation for the bombing of Mekelle.

  4. Final and binding vs infinite and negotiable: One of the key articles in the Algiers Peace Treaty is that the boarder decisions made by the mutually accepted Commission is final and binding. But a decision that is finite in the Real World is infinite in the Reciprocal World. Similarly one that is binding in the Real World is negotiable in the Reciprocal one. The Woyane pride itself in deceiving the Ethiopian people and the International community by deliberately confusing the Real and Reciprocal Worlds in an attempt to realize the creation of the Republic of Greater Tigray. The Woyane claimed that it accept the boarder delimitation as final and binding to buy time to squeeze as much financial aid as possible from the International Community in preparation for a war when the boarder demarcation starts. To fill its military coffers the regime prolonged the start of the demarcation repeatedly and when it realized that further prolongation of the boarder demarcation was not acceptable, it relegated the finding of the Commission and declared it null and void.

What should be done?
By FT we take an object in the Real World and covert it to an object in the Reciprocal World. Fortunately the process is reversible. One can take an object in the Fourier World and inverse it back to the Real Word, a process known as Inverse Fourier Transform (IFT). In fact, in the field of my profession one uses the Reciprocal World to identify and remove defects inherent in the Real World and reconstruct a better image of the Real World by IFT. A similar approach could be used in dealing with the Woyane. One can take a woyane statement, process it and then IFT it to get a better picture of what the statement means. For example, the Woyane regime in Ethiopia is making a lot of noises on open-ended dialogue. If you take the phrase 'open-ended dialogue' in the Reciprocal World of Woyane process it and IFT it to the Real World, it reads 'more war'. The Woyane regime is not interested in dialogue with Eritrea, open-ended or otherwise. The strategy is to undermine the Algiers Treaty, mobilize foreign aid to buy weapons, invade Eritrea and remove its legal Government. It is only then that the Republic of Greater Tigray could shift from the Reciprocal World to the Real World. The demand of the Eritrean people is simple, demarcate first and dialogue later. The diplomatic offensive taken by the Government of Eritrea, the massive demonstration in Strasbourg by Eritrean communities in the EU, Norway and Switzerland and the ongoing demonstration in different cities in the World are all calling for the International Community to implement the Algiers Peace Treaty to the letter, including the provision on Article VII of the UN Charter and thereby IFT the World of the Woyane back to the Real World. It will then be the job of the Ethiopian people to remove the defects during the process and come out with even a better picture of the Real World, a World of peace without the Woyane. The International Community may or may not heed our appeal. Nonetheless, as usual we should remain vigilant to defend our sovereignty and expose the Reciprocal World of the Woyane, a World of lies and distortions, wars and famine, ethnicity and ethnic cleansing.