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Eritrea president slams US ‘subterfuges’

Eritrea's President Isaias Afwerki is interviewed in Asmara May 13, 2008. U.N. fears that a pullout of peacekeepers on the Eritrea-Ethiopia border may lead to a new war are unfounded scaremongering and a "gimmick" to cover the world body's failings, Afwerki said on Tuesday. REUTERS/Radu Sigheti (ERITREA)

Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki is interviewed in Asmara May 13, 2008. U.N. fears that a pullout of peacekeepers on the Eritrea-Ethiopia border may lead to a new war are unfounded scaremongering and a “gimmick” to cover the world body’s failings, Afwerki said on Tuesday. REUTERS/Radu Sigheti (ERITREA)

Eritrea’s president lashed out at foreign powers, including the US, during recent independence day celebrations, according to a transcript released Thursday by the country’s mission to the African Union.

The speech, delivered in the capital Asmara on May 24, criticised the “vain subterfuges” and “relentless provocations” of foreign powers seeking to undermine Eritrea as it celebrated the 24th anniversary of its independence and of President Isaias Afwerki’s iron-fisted rule.

“Certain powers prompted by greed and domination and spearheaded by the United States continue to harass us and derail our efforts of nation-building in a serene and stable environment,” Afwerki told a stadium full of people.

He went on to blame the US for decades of conflicts in a host of countries including Egypt, Libya and Yemen, for “instigating tensions in the Nile Basin for hidden agendas” and for “incubating and deploying terrorist organisations with different labels to add chaos and destruction to chaos and destruction”.

Afwerki concluded his speech with a rousing call of, “Glory to our Martyrs who made independence a reality! Victory to the Masses!”

North Korea — another secretive, militarised and autocratic country to which Eritrea is commonly compared — was listed among the countries that offered anniversary congratulations, alongside the Vatican and others.

The isolationist Red Sea dictatorship languishes at the bottom of world freedom indices and is one of the largest contributors to the exodus of migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.

It is a crisis Eritrea has in the past blamed on a CIA conspiracy and human rights activists.

Tens of thousands of young Eritreans brave razor wire, minefields and armed border guards to sneak out of the country every year in order to escape repression and avoid conscripted military service that goes on for years.

Eritrea broke away from Ethiopia in 1991 after a brutal 30-year independence struggle and has since maintained a war footing, wary of the enemies it sees on all sides.

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3 Comments
  • Aman Temesgen

    So much of objective, independent and unbiased journalism from the so called independent western media…But Thanks God to the internet and the emergence of other non western mediaout let, people can check and double theck reality with their own eyes….Here i am not trying to defend the regime but i am trying to defend the truth. You brought North korea and the Vatikan to fit your prescribed narrative that Eritrea is a Pariah and isolated like North korea and insignificant like the Vatikan but the reality is, the countries which first offered their anniversary congratulations were non other than the Russian federation,Germany, United kingdom,Spain, italy,Turkey, India, Israel, Holland and many other coucntries. However, you chose to settle with North korea and the Vatikan to meet your sinister objective. What a disgrace.

  • wedigere

    ps united states of america have also send thier anniversary congratulations to eritrea…not that it matters …but u choose to ignore it …

  • wedigere

    part of the brave and to the point speech
    Beginning from Afghanistan, the upheavals they have stoked under different pretexts in the region continue to rage without let up:
    turmoil, bloodshed and displacements in Iraq;
    endless crises and disintegration in Somalia;
    continuous turbulence in North and South Sudan;
    subversions weaved to plunge Egypt back into crises as it starts to put its act together as if it wasn’t enough to paralyze the country for 30 years;
    chaos and destruction in Libya;
    turmoil and vacuum in Yemen;
    instigating tensions in the Nile Basin for hidden agendas;
    incubating and deploying terrorist organizations with different labels to add chaos and destruction to chaos and destruction;
    instigating and stoking misguided religious polarizations; and,
    plunging the entire region into interminable turmoil by undermining the regional organizations instead of allowing the countries of the region to solve their own problems.

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