On November 8, 2020, Al-Jazeera reported: “Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sacked his army chief, head of intelligence and foreign minister, as the military continues a five-day operation in the northern Tigray region with a new round of air raids.”
These moves occurred one day after the toothless parliament voted to dissolve the government of Tigray, charging it with “violating the constitution and endangering the constitutional system.”
And while the Prime Minister’s military attack on Tigray continues, people of Tigrayan descent are being detained and harassed in Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa. Tigrayan soldiers, police and civil servants have been told they have been suspended.
In an unconfirmed report, Tewelde GebreMariam, a Tigrayan and longtime head of Ethiopia’s gold standard airline, is said to have been fired.
Al-Jazeera also reported that the United Nations said “nine million people were at risk of displacement from the escalating conflict, warning that the government’s declaration on Wednesday of a state of emergency in Tigray was blocking food and other aid.”
The bellicose rhetoric of the Prime Minister and his government has gotten more belligerent as the casualties suffered by defense forces and militia casualties have been announced.
Elections have consequences. Tigray had the temerity to hold its regional election, as required by the constitution, and now the federal government is at war with the people of Tigray.
Will it take the wholesale slaughter of the Tigrayan people for the international community to recognize the seriousness of Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy’s intentions to wipe out the people of Tigray in an ego-driven attempt to destroy the TPLF leadership?
The international community is still hanging on to the false narrative of a Nobel Peace Prize winner who is still referred to as a “reformer” and the man who made peace with Eritrea.
There is no peace with Eritrea. Tens of thousands of Eritreans fled across the border when it opened and, ironically, have been sheltered by the very people against whom Eritrea waged a bloody war.
Instead of peace, the Eritrean President and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister formed an alliance to bring Tigray and the TPLF leadership to its knees.
What has the Prime Minister “reformed”? The economy, once enjoying double digit growth, is in shambles. Abiy has imprisoned journalists. Abiy has imprisoned opposition leaders. Abiy has imprisoned former government officials. Abiy is now imprisoning ordinary people on the basis of their ethnicity.
After the Rwandan genocide, the international community cried fake tears and shook its proverbial fist at the sky and cried “never again.”
Never again is now again.
Just like Rwanda, the international community is sending out contemptible expressions of “deep concern,” never pointing its finger at the driving force behind these events.
Aattempts to point the finger at the TPLF leadership for starting this war by holding an election is even more contemptible than the hypocritical expressions of concern.
Abiy Ahmed and Isayas Afewerki can repeat their tiresome mantra about the fight being with the TPLF and not the people of Tigray but it is a bold face lie.
Raining bombs on civilian targets is a war against Tigrayans. Blocking roads to disrupt food and medical supplies is a war against Tigrayans. Cleansing the military, police and civil service of ethnic Tigrayans is a war against Tigrayans. Arresting journalists based on their Tigrayan origins is war against Tigrayans. Arresting ordinary Ethiopians based on their Tigrayan ethnicity is a war against Tigrayans. Evicting people of Tigrayan descent from their homes is a war against Tigrayans. Promoting hate speech against Tigrayans is a war against Tigrayans.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, in coordination with Eritrean President Isayas Afewerki, are at war with Tigrayans.
How many people—Ethiopians and Eritreans—must die before the international community stops “expressing concern” and raises its voice and all means necessary to live up to its promise of “never again?”
By Elias Dawit
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