People are born free, but only very few die free. Wars have been waged to regain or secure the freedom of nations. Many of these wars, though not all, had culminated in granting freedom for the countries but this doesn’t mean that the citizens became free. At times those who preached freedom became dictators themselves once the opportunity is created. The promise is forgotten, and the martyrs are betrayed. People will be forced to bow under tyranny again, only this time it is perpetrated by those who say we care for you. This situation puts the people in a dire and desperate condition. It often takes years for the people to alter their opinion against the ‘freedom’ fighters and engaged actively to oust them. Majority of the people don’t want to believe the struggle they fought was in vain. They will rather hope for a better time to come and wish the new Governors will accomplish the promised promises once things took shape. Mistakes done during the early years of post independence/victory will not be taken seriously as they are likely to be attributed to lack of experience. Years later it will be said the mistakes are done by few individuals at the bottom of the hierarchy while those at top are saints. When all the excuses failed to hold water another more ominous actor will surface. In the satirical novel ‘Animal Farm’ all the mistakes and wrong doings are attributed to Snowball and the achievements are the brain work of Napoleon. Dictators are known to create their own Snowball and push hard to make the people believe in their fiction. Not few will believe that and follow them to hell. Let’s see some of the situations that happened in East Africa in the last three decades.
Shortly after the independence of Somalia in the 60s, creating cohesion and promoting democracy was a great challenge for the government. The president was soon ousted by the military in a coup d’état and Siade Barre came to picture. This blood thirsty dictator didn’t take time to create his own Snowball. Unfortunately Ethiopia was his choice, and he waged a large scale war on the then unstable and unprepared country due to its own recent coup d’état of the monarchy. Like always, unjustified wars have resulted in the demise of the aggressor, this war was not an exception. The well armed and better prepared military was crashed decisively by the Ethiopians that it has to retreat to its own border and got engaged in trying to stop the marching army from capturing Mogadishu. Luckily the Ethiopians didn’t want to capture a land which doesn’t to belong to them. The repercussions of that war were beyond the imaginations of everybody. The sad thing follows immediately. It lead to the fragmentation of the nation and the quotidian war between the clan-based warlords. The final result of that madness was a failed state for more than two decades. Imagine where these two countries could be now if, instead of war, they had collaborated and fought their common enemy; poverty and backwardness.
Five years after its independence the tiny state of Eritrea has repeated the same mistake. Not able to fulfill the unrealistic promises they pledged to their people, the leaders in Asmara didn’t take a moment to pop up a Snowball. The Snowball here too is Ethiopia, but at times when they see the danger of attributing all their problems to Ethiopia ( as it might in fact draw the unintended picture of larger/stronger of Ethiopia, they add America or at times the whole world the Snowball effect). They had even to revise their ‘colonisation’ history, the official coloniser of Eritrea is now, not Ethiopia, but America ( of course through Ethiopia