Thursday, December 06, 2007

Red Sea

While sitting in a taxicab in Washington DC (WDC) today I had a conversation with the driver who emigrated from Ethiopia to the USA before a section of his country split off to become the independent nation of Eritrea.

When I heard that the driver was Ethiopian I mentioned that when I worked in WDC in the 1980's I worked with a woman from Ethiopia who highly recommended that I dine at a local restaurant called "Red Sea" so I asked the driver if he knew the restaurant. As it turns out Red Sea has been closed for years due to a boycott led by the Ethiopian community in WDC. Their boycott was a protest against the separation of Eritrea from Ethiopia because as a result Ethiopia lost its access to the Red Sea (the sea not the restaurant!).

Perhaps the Ethiopia-Eritrea divorce is too recent for the wounds to heal but I expressed my hope to the cabbie that one day these two nations become major trading partners -- they are NOT today -- with each other versus the current practice of massing military troops along their mutual border.

Not only did WDC lose a nice restaurant the the consumers/taxpayers of these two African nations lost when the trade barriers went up between these two nations. Their political leaders clearly have their own interests, not those of the average citizen, in mind with their current policies.

Trading nations are not warring nations,


1 comment:

simon said...


This is closer to home than you realise. I agree with you, there is no need for war specially when the issue with the border has been resoved by law. The issue is enforcing the rule of law, which Ethiopia is refusing to abide at the moment. The bush administration with their infinite wisdom has take sides with the party that is flauting the law, in the name supporting an ally on fight for terror. I am sure this will back fire in a big way.

Read the article below for more details.