Barbaric-Genocidal Ethnic Cleansing, Extreme Savagery, in Ethiopia
Mogos Abraham, PhD
Centre for Middle Eastern Studies, Canada
15 Nov. 2020
The meaning of genocide: Genocide is the intentional action to destroy a people with specific national, racial, or religious identity in whole or in part. The United Nations’ Genocide Convention, which was established in 1948, defines genocide as "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such" including the killing of its members, causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, deliberately imposing living conditions that seek to "bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part", preventing births, or forcibly transferring children out of the group to another group. The Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide, and the Rwandan Genocide are commonly cited glaring examples.
The Ethiopian Case
When he was an Intelligence Officer in the Ethiopian National Intelligence and Information Service Agency, Mr. Abiy Ahmed Ali, currently an illegitimate Prime Minister, who has illegally imposed his will on Ethiopians, conspired with Isaias Afeworki, President of Eritrea, and several guerrilla groups that were fighting against the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE). He helped in unleashing genocidal rampages during the months of July and August 2016 against Tigrayans, who lived for generations in their own Motherland, Ethiopia’s Amhara Regional State. For the mere fact that they were Tigrayans, hundreds were mobbed and massacred; their properties were ransacked and torched; and about 11,000 of them, including mothers and their children and the elderly, were forced to escape to neighboring North Sudan. Genocidal crimes against humanity were committed under the watchful eyes of Mr. Ali and the then President of the Amhara Regional State, Mr. Gedu Andargachew, who is now one of the henchmen of the illegitimate Prime Minister Ali.
Applying these and many other cruel and mischievous acts, Mr. Ali succeeded in achieving his dream of being Ethiopia’s leader of any kind. In 2018, he was sworn in as Head of a Transitional Government with a title of a Prime Minister for two years, replacing the then Prime Minister, Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn. Multiparty democratic elections were scheduled for May 2020 in accordance with the Constitution. To the absolute dismay of Ethiopians, however, Mr. Ali’s reign has become a reign of terror, destruction, and displacements. People are being uprooted from their ancestral lands and slaughtered like animals.
Let us look at some examples of the ongoing tragic human miseries caused by Mr. Ali’s illegitimate and fascistic government: (i) within the first year of his tragic reign, about five million people were internally displaced, now exposed to multiple diseases, including Covid-19, and starvation, living in refugee camps in their own country; (ii) nearly a million have fled their country to neighbouring countries; (iii) Mr. Ali postponed the National Elections that were re-scheduled from May to August 2020 indefinitely to ensure he remains in power; (iv) interethnic conflicts are raging throughout Ethiopia at local (village) and regional levels, i.e., people are slaughtering one another by day and night, tragic atrocities during this 21st century; (v) internal displacement, hunger, starvation, and morbidity are prevalent; (vi) political imprisonments, assassinations, and disappearances of prominent Ethiopians are widespread; and (vii) the national economy is no more functioning even at its minimum capacity; it has collapsed, revealing a looming tragedy of unemployment, famine, starvation, and social upheavals.
Many believe that Mr. Ali, with the help of certain oil rich Arab countries, orchestrated all of the human miseries to make sure that he eventually becomes Ethiopia’s King for life. To the surprise of many, he repeatedly claimed in public his ambition of being like one of the primitive Ethiopian Kings, “Emperor Haile Selassie King of Kings”. People don’t seem to take him seriously. Given his irrational personality, however, the guy is serious. He is determined to meet his ultimate goal at any cost, applying a variety of genocidal tactics.
An Ethiopian democratic force: There is a powerful national democratic force that will not allow Mr. Ali to take Ethiopia back to a primitive governance system similar to that of many oil rich Middle Eastern Arab states, which have become his sustainers by spending millions of dollars to establish their own sphere of political and socioeconomic influence. That force is called Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). TPLF fought a bitter and protracted guerrilla war for 17 years for a democratically united Ethiopia against the Marxist-Leninist military junta that ruled the ancient country known for its wealth of history and culture from Sept. 1974-Apr. 1991 with a Stalinist iron fist. When it realized that it was it was going to score a decisive victory against its enemy, the Marxist-Leninist junta, TPLF invited other democratic forces and forged a united democratic front, called the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). Spearheaded by TPLF, synergistic nexus between military and political techniques of the EPRDF was demonstrated in May 1991, when it annihilated the military junta. After downfall of the junta, the EPRDF facilitated crafting a brand new Constitution for the current Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE). Many experts, including economists of the World Bank and university professors, such as the Nobel Prize winner for Economic Sciences, Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz, described EPRDF’s reign from 1991 to 2016 as a period of Ethiopia’s Golden Years, because: (a) the country was in peace “with itself” after years of devastating civil wars; (b) there was socioeconomic and sociopolitical stability; (c) double digit economic growth was achieved; and (d) national pride of Ethiopians was restored. Ethiopia was described as an African economic tiger, with a bright future.
Outsiders were startled by the violence, because Ethiopia was considered an economic success story. …Ethiopia’s economy grew at 9.9% per year, and building projects produced some of sub-Saharan Africa’s best roads, bridges, and electricity grids (the Time Magazine, 27 July 2020, emphasis added).
However, all the miraculous achievements vanished within less than two years of Mr. Ali’s rule of terror. Ethiopia is now a failed state, which is a political body that has disintegrated to a point where basic conditions and responsibilities of a sovereign government no longer function properly; and that the government has lost its legitimacy, although it is pretending to be a governing body illegitimately. In legal and political terms, a failed state is characterized by: (i) loss of control of its territory; (ii) erosion of legitimate authority to make collective decisions; (iii) inability to build and provide economic and social infrastructures; and (iv) inability to interact with other states as a full member of the international community. Depending on prevailing economic, social, political, and spatial (geographic) circumstances, more can be added to these characteristics of state failure.
Barbaric war of national treason: Mr. Ali’s illegitimate and impotent government failed to overcome Ethiopia’s predicaments. His extreme frustration motivated him to declare war against the TPLF on 03 Nov. 2020, because it - the TPLF – is the only democratically elected regional government that stonewalled his dream of becoming Ethiopia’s “King-of-Kings”. A devastating war is underway since then (03 Nov. 2020) between the militaries of Mr. Ali and that of the democratically elected government of the Regional State of Tigray, the TPLF.
Because his military was subjected to humiliating defeats at several battlefields, Mr. Ali has sought help of a foreign country, Eritrea. The despotic tyrant President of Eritrea, Isaias Afeworki, has joined the war pleasantly to make the tragic internal problem an international tragedy. Effectively, Mr. Afeworki’s army has invaded Ethiopia. As the world knows very well, Mr. Afeworki continues to rule his tiny nation without a national constitution, applying “rules of the jungle” from his years of guerilla war practices. The UN placed Mr. Afeworki’s government under severe economic and political sanctions for being a mastermind of multiple activities of international terrorism. Now, he seized the treasonous invitation from Mr. Ali to destabilize and create havoc throughout the eastern Africa region. A catastrophic war is raging between the TPLF on the one hand and the joint armies of Mr. Ali and Mr. Afeworki on the other. Thousands of innocent civilians were killed; tens of thousands are fleeing to Sudan empty handed just to save their lives; and private property and public infrastructures were destroyed. Ethiopia is heading to catastrophic humanitarian crises of historic proportions.
Geopolitical and economic imperatives: Comprising 21 counties, including the so called Horn of Africa, the eastern Africa region is one of the great geopolitically and economically important spheres of influence. In this global sphere of influence, Mr. Ali and his collaborator, the President of Eritrea, are committing barbaric genocidal ethnic cleansing actions of extreme savagery against the Tigrayan people for the mere fact that they exercised their constitutional rights to elect the TPLF as their legitimate government. The international community, under the leadership of the United Nations, must be involved to stop this humanitarian tragedy. Devastating crimes against humanity are being committed. In the absence of immediate international action to stop it, this war will be more tragic than those of Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and South Sudan to mention a few humanitarian tragedies of our time, the 21st century. It is very likely that the humanitarian, economic, and political tragedies will spill over to the whole eastern Africa region and beyond, with global consequences. Keep in mind that a failed Ethiopian State will export: (i) refugees, (ii) socioeconomic and political havoc, (iii) breakdown of law and order elsewhere, (iv) illicit drugs and weapons, (v) terrorism, and (vi) a pandemic of various diseases. Collectively, scale of the disastrous global impact of these and similar human miseries is beyond anyone’s imagination.
One of many evidences of crimes against humanity (Reuters 13 Nov. 2020): “Speaking to Reuters on Friday in the Sudanese border town of al-Fashqa, where more than 7,000 refugees have sought safety, witnesses gave firsthand accounts of the escalating conflict in Tigray, where government forces are battling fighters loyal to rebellious local leaders. Reuters spoke to a dozen refugees. Many of them described seeing dead bodies strewn alongside the roads as they fled under cover of darkness, fearing they would be found and killed. “I saw the bodies of people who had been slain thrown in the streets. Others who were injured were dragged with a rope tied to a rickshaw. What happened is frightening and terrible, and the Tigrayans are being killed and chased down. Anything is looted, and our area was attacked with tanks,” said Araqi Naqashi, 48. Refugees said they expected many more Ethiopians to join them in Sudan in the coming days. Barhat, 52, said she fled from My-Khadra after people from the Amhara region, which borders Tigray and whose rulers back Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, attacked them. “They killed anyone who said they were Tigrayan. They stole our money, our cattle, and our crops from our homes and we ran with just the clothing on our backs,” she said. Elias, a 48-year-old farmer from the same town, said he was horrified by what happened there: “I saw gunmen killing and slaughtering people in the streets... and I fled on foot until I got here two days ago.” Local Sudanese residents said they could hear the Ethiopian government air strikes in Tigray until Tuesday. Witnesses said some of the refugees were injured and transferred to a local medical facility. “The bombing has demolished buildings and killed people. I escaped, part running on foot and part in a car. I’m afraid. Civilians are being killed,” said Hayali Kassi, a 33-year-old driver from Humera, a town near Ethiopia’s borders with Sudan and Eritrea.”
In short, such evidences are more than enough for the international community to take actions of mercy immediately. May the Almighty shield the innocent!
The Tigayans’ struggle for justice continues!