Ethiopia, Land of Atrocities

A UN peace keeping force should be deployed in Tigray to stop the genocide .

By Tesfay Atsbeha 01-20-21

“If humanitarian intervention is, indeed, an unacceptable assault on sovereignty, how should we respond to a Rwanda, to a Srebrenica, to gross and systematic violation of human rights that offend every precept of our common humanity?” Kofi Annan in his 2000 Millennium Report

Now, the current question is how does the World community prevent Tigray from being a Rwanda or a Srebrenica? What is to be done when the one who has the responsibility to protect the people, in this case Abiy Ahmed, is the perpetrator?

The only world power which can reach rational and humane decisions is the European Union. The European Union has the moral responsibility to see to it that a UN peace keeping force is deployed in Tigray to stop the genocide. This also applies to President Biden. The marauding Eritrean troops and Amhara Militias should get out of Tigray, the Ethiopian federal (Abiy Ahmed’s Army) should go back to its garrisons. The elected administrative organs of Tigray should be reinstated.

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Sudan is the most convenient country through which emergency aid can be channeled to the people of Tigray.

The victims: The apolitical victims :

More than 60 000 Civilians from Tigray including more than 1200 pregnant women have fled to the Sudan. It has been estimated that the number of Ethiopians from Tigray fleeing to the Sudan would rise to about 200 000.

Amhara militias and the Ethiopian federal army are said to be killing and preventing Tigrayan civilians who try to enter the Sudan. The Sudan tribune website of 4 January 2021 mentioned that Ethiopian (federal) troops are preventing Tigrayan refugees from entering Sudan.

This blockade is part of the evil genocidal scheme of Abiy Ahmed to kill Tigrayans by famishing them, denying them any telephone and internet communication, destroying hospitals and factories and letting their properties be looted, preventing them from getting aid, letting their cattle be slaughtered, letting women being repeatedly raped to the extent that even one army officer under the command of Abiy complained against the repetition of rapes in Mekelle. More than two million civilians have been displaced. About 4.5 Million people need urgent aid.

These savage atrocities are an expression of the behavior of Ethiopian politicians including the dignitaries of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, who supported the war against the people of Tigray. The ethnic nature of the atrocities is strikingly clear in the fact that many Eritreans and non –Amhara Ethiopian scholars in the Diaspora are opposed to the atrocities against the people of Tigray.

The victims who reached the Sudan are giving their eyewitness accounts to UN representatives, to CNN, to the BBC, to Reuters, to Al Jazeera etc. Some of the refugees are wounded, some have been separated from their loved ones, and some are giving accounts of the massacres they saw.

These Tigrayan civilians are victims of the worst forms of violence because of their identity as Tigrayans. This violence is a mixture of Genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

The regional government of Tigray and the TPLF

The leadership of the TPLF has undemocratic elements and undemocratic is synonymous with Ethiopian political leadership, because there has never been any democratic political entity in power in Ethiopia. At the same time, the regional government of Tigray is an elected government in the Ethiopian tradition and therefore the federal government is not entitled to decide on the regional affairs of Tigray.

This regional government is the only entity which knows every corner of Tigray, which has organized the people of all remote villages and which has an experienced manpower to help in the rehabilitation of the people of Tigray.

The Relief Society of Tigray (REST) which worked with the administrative organs of the TPLF was able to minimize the consequences of the famine caused by drought and war in 1985 because international aid organizations had a safe passage through the Sudan.

The TPLF was the only political entity in power in Ethiopia in the last 80 years which didn’t murder its predecessors, whereas emperor Haileselasie murdered his predecessor, Lij Eyasu, the grandson of emperor Minilik and the aged Haileselasie was in turn murdered by his successor, Mengistu.

Now, Abiy Ahmed has resorted to murdering his predecessors who enabled him to reach his present position, like the former Ethiopian foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin. The pictures of disfigured corpses of old retired politicians including that of Asmelash Weldeselasie, a person who was blind and one-handed are being shown as trophy of Abiy Ahmed and his supporters. Abiy Ahmed has gone over to acts of genocide against the people of Tigray.

The TPLF was struggling to maintain the regional autonomy i.e. the self rule of Tigray while it continued paying taxes to the federal government. But the TPLF was cornered by Abiy Ahmed who didn’t tolerate any dissenter.

The former defense minister of Eritrea Mesfin Hagos elaborates the situation in military terminology as follows:

“…according to sources in the Eritrean capital, Asmara, in the run up to the current conflict, a large number of Ethiopian elite units had slowly trickled into Eritrea as part of a security pact between Abiy and Eritrean president Isaias Afwerki. Hidden from public view at an ad-hoc base in Gherghera, in the outskirts of Asmara, these units were expected to be the hammer and the Northern Command the anvil to strike out of existence the TPLF. TPLF preempted this scheme in what it called “anticipatory defense”, December 3, 2020 Eritrea Hub Ethiopia , News .

The Perpetrators:

Abiy Ahmed is a mass murderer despite his ‘Nobel Prize. He has abused his power as a prime minister to form a common front with President Esaias Afwerki of Eritrea and the Amhara extremist elite and obtained war drones from the United Arab Emirates against the regional government and people of Tigray. He has been bombarding Tigrayan civilians, factories and infrastructure including Christian and Muslim historical places by drones, airplanes, artillery and tanks. Abiy Ahmed is trying to treat Tigray as a colony and this treatment can only lead to more bloodshed.

Abiy Ahmed, who held key positions and worked with the TPLF for 27 years, thereby sending secrete information to the Eritrean government at least through Genbot 7 and OLF does not have the moral justification to criminalize the leadership of the TPLF.

He has cut off telecommunication and internet connections, denied entry to foreign observers and journalists as well as refused to allow independent enquiry into the war crimes, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and genocide, to hide the atrocities he is committing. He has blocked electricity to Tigray and allowed Amhara militias and Eritrean soldiers to murder, loot, rape and kidnap Tigrayans to exasperate the suffering of the civilian population.

The politically active Amhara Extremists:

The politically active Amhara extremists have been angry at the TPLF, because in 1991 the TPLF dismantled the unitary system which guaranteed the supremacy of the Amhara ruling class. Every ethnic group in Ethiopia has an Amharic speaking elite (Amarophone elite); but the assimilation is negligible and therefore the elites of the different ethnic groups who are politically organized want their respective regional autonomies.

The strongest of these groups is the TPLF and the Amhara extremists want to destroy the TPLF to prevent other groups from demanding their autonomy. A campaign of demonization of the TPLF by the extremists targeted the people of Tigray as well. This was the basis for the ongoing genocide.

The extremists try to describe the ethnic groups as clans or tribes, but this description is wrong, because the Oromos (about 40 Million) the Tigrayans (about five Million) etc. see themselves as nations and they will prevail along with other oppressed nations and nationalities. The present federal system could have been a compromise solution were it not for Abiy Ahmed and the Extremists. The extremists trivialize the apartheid system by portraying the present federal system in Ethiopia as apartheid. These people don’t want the empowerment of the nations and nationalities and they struggle to curtail the rights of others instead of struggling for the rights of their own people.

Esaias Afwerki, the president of Eritrea:

The ruthlessness of the one-man state of Eritrea has forced hundreds of thousands of Eritreans to use every opportunity to leave their country in droves.

Esaias Afwerki targets the people of Tigray as well. He blocked the route through Eritrea to the Sudan during the famine in Tigray in 1985. More than 13 thousand people died on the route. He invaded Ethiopian territories beginning with Badme on 12 May 1998, he refused to get out of the territories, and he lost the war against the Ethiopian army led by the TPLF. Therefore, he is so vindictive that he wants to punish the TPLF and the people who support it. The name Ayder referral hospital in Mekelle is a reminder of the massacre of children by bombardments of Esaias Afwerki in 1998.

In an interview in March 1998 (Megabit 1990 edition, in the Ethiopian Calendar) of the Tigrigna magazine “Asser”, a few weeks prior to the invasion, Esaias Afwerki expressed his anger at the TPLF because the latter built a leather factory at Wukro and a textile factory in Adwa (Adua). His argument was that such factories which exist in Eritrea should not be built in Tigray. He said that Ethiopia was the market for Eritrean Textile products, but since the TPLF built a similar factory, Eritrea was getting more money from the sale of row cotton grown at Ilaberid than from the sale of textile products.

The interview gives a glimpse of his mentality to explain the driving motive for the murders of civilians, destruction of property, dismantlement and looting of factories and universities by Eritrean troops in Tigray.

The European Union has the moral responsibility to see to it that a UN peace keeping force is deployed in Tigray to stop the genocide. This also applies to President Biden. The marauding Eritrean troops and Amhara Militias should get out of Tigray, the Ethiopian federal (Abiy Ahmed’s Army) should go back to its garrisons. The elected administrative organs of Tigray should be reinstated.

Sudan is the most convenient country through which emergency aid can be channeled to the people of Tigray.

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