We launch this maiden issue of DISCOURSE with a distinct focus on a region that we all know best. That the lead topic canvasses Ethiopia and Eritrea; and a bit beyond as relates to both, should not come as a surprise. The conflict between the two counties, bearing various shades and colors is, shall we say, raging. It is a stalemate, to say the least; one of the longest we have ever known. And that, as one astute observer of the Ethio-Eritrean dynamics- at the cost of being perhaps too simplistic- once sur-mised, is because ‘there is so much shared history.’
Well, shared history and the outstanding range of issues waiting to be ex-plained and solved are what prompted this great collection of essays cover-ing the two countries. Note here these essays are considerably brand new. Yosief Ghebrehiwet, and Saleh Johar, two prominent Eritrean émigrés from the American west demand a rigorous reexamination of a policy per-ception that otherwise has already hit a massive wall. That is what they pre-cisely think it has. Their bold arguments analyze cryptic attitudes into their barest minimum and predict a situation that could assume apocalyptic pro-portions if the Ethiopians fail to act. Nursing their pain from a notoriously disquieting distance, and all the odds in between, they do not lament; they rather subtly articulate their strong observations calling for action before it is too late; something- for those who care to see-they believe is indeed not that far. One doesn’t let a sinking ship fend for itself; lest, in the melee to stay afloat, it takes all down with it. For Yosief, no country other than Ethiopia shoulders the greatest responsibility in bringing the state of affairs in Eritrea, arguably the sinking ship, to its logical end. Looking at the flip side, as the African adage goes, hawks go away for the nesting season and the fools think they have gone forever.
Shared history that might have thus helped the discord to endure shall be put to quick use to find the means to solve it, that is. The authors are not pen-ning obituaries for the subject long before the news of passing. They are rather debunking established notions of common sense that in large meas-ure seem to have outlived their usefulness. They are bold; they are incisive; and they lay to rest a dialogue that this far has been a ‘no-go’ zone.
But, with broader ramifications, the argument continues to persist. While the disturbing ‘waiting’ in fixing the Ethio-Eritrean discord continues, new factors and the volatility that accompanies them are meandering into the discourse; argue Alex de Waal, David Shinn and Mehari Taddele Maru in their separate essays. Remarkable writers and scholars in their own right, the authors link the Horn of Africa region and the Red Sea with the trou-bling developments along that stretch which occasionally provide clues for hope to be acted upon. That is a no-brainer. A fresh understanding of the cobweb of relations warrants brand new tools for action.
The articles in Discourse do not reflect any consensus of beliefs nor necessarily Discourse’s positions. We do not expect that readers will sympathize with all the sentiments they find here, for some of our writers will flatly disagree with others. It is our job to keep clear of mere nonsensical crotchets. We hope the variety of opinions will help contribute to the ongoing conversation on African issues. We do not accept responsibility for the views expressed in any article that appear here.
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Discourse Editorial Team has few and simple considerations applied during soliciting and selecting articles for publication in Discourse Journal:
Discourse covers mainly security and peace, development and governance, and heritage and culture promotions of Africa with a focus on the Horn. Thematic issues can be com-missioned to capable contributors by the Team or articles can be proposed or forwarded to the Team by the authors themselves. Articles must be written with a journalistic style and an academic depth. Articles must not be longer than 4000 words; 12 point font size, all 0.5pts spaced, and Garamond font face. Pictures or art works (original) can be included as part of the story in the article. Articles submitted should be clean and simple grammati-cally and message wise. The Editorial Team tasks itself to edit articles for beauty, language and factuality. The Editorial Team believes the ultimate owners of the ideas expressed as part of the articles are the authors themselves. Except on matters of maintaining the right length and language, the Editorial Team does not interfere to shape or alter the views and opinions of the authors.