The Arthashastra, an ancient Indian Sanskrit treatise on statecraft written by Kautilya, has reference to “Saam, Daam, Dand & Bhed” which means persuasion, temptation, punishment, and division as different means to achieve an end. This was one of the most practical ideas applied by ancient Indian kings and its relevance for modern global diplomacy also can’t be denied. Interestingly, what the USA has done with Ethiopia and Eritrea is somewhat a classic example of this practical implication of the above-mentioned concept. Considering the developments before and after the peace agreement in Ethiopia, this becomes even more evident. So let’s discuss.
US’ Saam, Daam, Dand Bhed policy for Ethiopia
The Bhed neeti (policy) means basically division or using someone’s weakness against one. America made use of this policy by exploiting the minds of the Tigray people and instigating conflict between the Tigray and the Abiy’s government. Furthermore, it provided overt and covert support to the TPLF.
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After applying the “Bhed” policy and creating disharmony between the two factions, the ground was fertile for a full-scale war. The Ethiopian Prime Minister sent troops to a military base in the northern region of Tigray, which borders Eritrea and Sudan. He accused the region’s ruling party, the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF), of attacking the base, and announced that the Ethiopian military had bombed the facility in retaliation. Similarly, Amhara and Eritrea also joined the war in support of Ethiopian government forces and thus the conflict escalated and fighting continued.
The US tried to encash the ongoing conflict and taking advantage of this conflict, tried to control the Horn of Africa region and maintain its presence. Likewise, while both Ethiopia and Eritrea called for peace talks , the west tried to derail the peace talks and it became clear that the TPLF is nothing but a US proxy in Ethiopia. Even the WHO Director-General Tedros tried to incite the Tigray rebels who agreed to join peace talks, by falsely claiming that Ethiopia is carrying out a genocide against them.
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However, the US attempts to control the region and its resources by destabilizing it couldn’t succeed as both Eritrea and Ethiopia forces joined hands to deal with the crisis. After two years of fighting by the combined forces of Ethiopia and Eritrea against the TPLF, finally, the war has come to an end after a peace agreement was recently reached.
In addition, when Russian FM Lavrov visited Eritrea, the US sent the IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva to Ethiopia. Thus, the IMF and Russia visiting the conflict-ridden Ethiopia and Eritrea, respectively, at the same time couldn’t just have been a coincidence and is another attempt to push these countries to pick sides and create rifts between the two countries that fought together against the TPLF. This indicates that after Bhed and Dand failed, the US has now resorted to Saam-Daam.
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Moreover, it has been observed recently that the Wagner is steadily increasing its presence in the African continent and there’s a growing pro-Russia sentiment which is also partly responsible for France withdrawing troops from Mali, Central African Republic, and now Burkina Faso. To counter this, the US has now brought NATO into the picture to ensure its relevance in the African continent.
Nordic countries woo Ethiopia
In a recent development, the Nordic countries have expressed desire to strengthen “economic cooperation” with Africa. As per a report, following the peace agreement, the Nordic countries have shown a desire to strengthen their cooperation in many ways. These countries have also shown interest to support the government’s efforts, especially in reconstruction activities.
However, this only seems like an eye-wash used by NATO to make fresh incursions into Africa. Behind this “soft diplomacy” exercised by the Nordic countries to strengthen cooperation with Ethiopia lies the evil face of the USA backed NATO, which seems to have lost its base in Africa. Thus, the US has chosen the Nordic countries who are part of NATO to enter Africa and maintain their hold even after the end of the war to fulfill their ultimate ulterior motive of controlling the strategically important Horn Of Africa region. But the question arises why the NATO is using Nordic countries to enter into Africa? The answer to this is very simple as the Nordic countries are peaceful and least suspected character when it comes to incursion.
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