On Eritrea: Cross-Talk Without Dialogue

For over 12 years, these “scholars” have produced volumes in academic journals and in journals dealing with African Affairs about the State of Eritrea and its leadership. The “research” on Eritrea is not the issue here and one that has never been questioned or critiqued, because it was never available for the Eritrean public, the issue is their involvement with individuals and groups that are working to overthrow the government of Eritrea. Dan Connell has appeared in several forums, including in Ethiopia, with groups seeking to overthrow the government of Eritrea with the help of the regime in Addis Abeba. Ditto for David Bozzini and his activities in Geneva with the likes of Elsa Chyrum. Daniel Meknonnen is one of the Eritreans recruited by Dan Connell and Paulos Tesfagiorgis in South Africa and it was his NED-sponsored “NGO” the EMHDR that translated Gene Sharp’s book into Tigrinya-and sent to Eritrea. Kjetil Tronvoll and Paulos Tesfagiorgis have worked to undermine and economically, diplomatically and politically isolate Eritrea. I would suggest a re-visit into all their activities and a careful examination of their “research” publications and see if they meet the ethical standards required by their professional organizations. If they have nothing to hide and if was their conscience that was dictating their involvement-then they should have no problems making their publications, statements, presentations available for all to scrutinize.

Despite their frothing-they don’t seem to be denying that they have engaged in anti-Eritrea activities…hiding behind the scholar cloak!

“…While it is true that some of us have interfaced with international human rights organizations, stated positions on sanctions and arms embargoes on Eritrea from a critical human rights perspective, or have engaged with officials in various governments about the problems in Eritrea that produce high numbers of refugees and asylum seekers, these are matters of our own conscience and we each take nuanced positions rooted in careful research and years of understanding of the Eritrean situation…”


What follows immediately below is a letter sent to me via email today. Beneath that is my response.

Academic Research, Intelligence Gathering, and Character Assassination: Is It the Same Everywhere?

We are among an international group of researchers – social scientists, historians, legal scholars and journalists – with decades of experience working on the Horn of Africa country of Eritrea and/or the Eritrean diaspora. We are citizens and/or residents of many countries: Eritrea, Canada, the US, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Norway, Italy, Germany, and the UK. While our perspectives and orientations differ, our research foci have largely converged around the critical interpretation of patterns of political intolerance precipitated by a militarized, authoritarian regime in power since 1991. Because of these patterns of intolerance we have all been targeted to varying degrees by the regime and its supporters – and sometimes its opponents as well. Some of us have been threatened physically…

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