“Eritrea at a Crossroads: A Narrative of Triumph, Betrayal and Hope”
Ch 2. The Making of Eritrea
Until the lion has his own historian, the tale of the hunt will always belong to the hunter.
~ An African Proverb
ኣንበሳ ናቱ ተራኺ ክሳብ ዚህሉዎ፡ እቲ ዛንታ ናይቲ ሃድን ወትሩ በቲ ሃዳናይ’ዩ ኪውነን።
– ኣፍሪቃዊ ምስላ
The Making of Eritrea
This chapter presents a brief profile of the land and the people of Eritrea, taking a glimpse at the ancient history of the region, and asserts that the Eritreans, like other African peoples, existed in history before the moment of their contact with Europe and the Europeans. It provides a bird’s eye view of the evolution of the region’s pre-colonial and traces the matrix of constant invasions, pollution movements, migrations and intermingling that forged the mosaic of peoples, cultures and languages that make up Eritrea. It describes the reality of a fragmented territory from the decline of the Kingdom of Axum, through the centuries, to the advent of the European scramble for Africa and the colonial era.
The Making of Eritrea describes the Italian conquest and subjugation and unification of the territory into a single entity under colonial rule. It recounts the forging of the Eritrean State and the rise of an overarching distinctive Eritrean national identity as a product of the dialectics of colonialism and the resistance of the colonised. It highlights the crucial regional and global ramifications of Italy’s defeat in Eritrea, signifying the dismantling of Mussolini’s Africa Orientale Italiana and the paving of the way to the reversal of fortunes of Rommel’s Deutsch Afrika Korps, the German surrender in North Africa and the ultimate Allied victory in World War II. Further, it underscores that Eritrea, having served as the crucial battleground in the ‘great fight’ between the forces of global ‘fascism and liberal democracy’ on African soil as a significant cornerstone in the construction of the Allied victory, was abandoned and
betrayed by the Allied Powers.
(PDF: Tigrinya ምዕራፍ 2)