The Art of Halving Us; the Art of Using Us


I had a long diagnostic and prescriptive essay on the Ethio-Eritrea conflict and pending issues. All the time I think about it, it bothers me a lot that solutions are always dictated not by the essence of the problems but by foreign powers who advance their own geopolitical interests usually at the cost the region. If that is not about their interests, their understandings and interventions have been overly simplistic, complicating the relationship rather than helping. I call this the art of halving, i.e., halving the solution and doubling the problem, similar to the story of a mother of twin kids.

Two noisy kids were bothering their busy mother in her kitchen fighting over an orange fruit. The mother grabbed the orange, picked a knife, cut it into two halves. The kids reacted with much more crying. Confused, the mother said to her kids, “now what!?” The unsuspecting mother knew her mistake after the damage when she learned her kids were using it for experimenting on circular objects as instructed by their teacher.

Let’s assume it was the only orange in house. A no-solution would be halving it, as it means destroying the very function. A 50% solution was to give it to one of them. Better than that could have been to help them share it optimally and use it together taking turns. That requires, of course, some level of cooperation and normalization. If there is none, one must start building or rebuilding it. When it comes to the conflict between Ethiopia/Tigray and Eritrea, the international community impersonates that simplistic mother.

Naivety that comes out of inadequate understanding is one. Deceptive games to advance own interests is another. Eritrean internal situations appears up again with winds of uncertainty. The best hands to fix it would be Eritreans themselves. Any external interferences, particularly those from the Gulf States must be unwelcome. Any place they touch breathes fire and death. Eritreans will be the primary victims followed by their neighbors. The Gulf States have lots of resources at their disposal to control the entire RedSea region on both shores.

Dade Desta
Dade is North Star Tribune's News and Current Affairs Chief. Dade has extensive press, broadcast and online media expertise that spans across several institutions and spheres including running the highly regarded policy journal ‘Discourse’. Dade is a well known prolific writer and a cultural and social commentator in Tigrgina, Amarigna and English. He has extensive experience as reporter and news analyst with VOA, and much more with Ethiopian Broadcast. He also trains young and upcoming journalists and media professionals.


  1. I see the usual cliches. Gulf states are this and Eritrea that. We need why Gulf states are acting that way: national interest, geopolitical dynamics, temporary political spat, historical animosity, or … Please stop copying and pasting stale rhetoric. Be open minded. Be pragmatic. Are you telling me the Eritrea/Isayas of 1991 is the same today? Does things evolve or stay stagnant. Eritrean condition is not enviable but you appreciate the consistency and in-hypocrisy of things there. So give us fresh ideas and in-depth analysis that we can’t find somewhere.

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