Correct the Most Common Reporting Error: The War is Against the Tigray Nation!
Negus Wolday 12-30-20
For the entire month, since the invasion of Tigray started, freelance journalists and reporters working for the international media are almost invariably reporting as if the war is between the Ethiopian army and a "rebel" regional party called TPLF. This kind of reporting is either an inadvertent error arising from the lack of journalistic probe into the concealed mission of the invasion or a deliberate distortion of the truth intended to avert the risk of being branded as taking sides or the blatant violation of ethical standards in journalism. If an independent reporter at international level, just echoes the versions of the invading party the reporter is nothing more than a duplicate press secretary of that government. Such kind of journalism will be a recipe for the perpetuation of tyranny. Journalism as much as it is an art is also a science that requires conducting impartial investigation.
It doesn't take much effort, if there is genuine intention to know the truth behind the seismic war of invasion, it only requires a review of the articles posted online by impartial authors about how the conflict evolved. For professional journalists of world standing believing the story from the official side that the war started "suddenly" because the "rebel" party in the north attacked and disarmed an entire northern command is not a pardonable crime in the noble world of journalism. Yes of course, everyone agrees that any citizen or groups of citizens that attack a national defense force are committing an act of treason. This is very simple logic! If journalists cannot question something that is too obvious, they have to keep their silence forever for the sake of integrity. I am sure, the last thing TPLF would have liked to do was to attack the Army, which was built by the TPLF itself. TPLF and all Tigrayans know very well that the army in the north was there to protect them. They don't need to be told by every Tom, Dick, and Harry that the troops have been on their side building schools, harvesting crops, and chasing locust swarms. What happened was an act driven by instinct of survival triggered by the imminent threat of attack on Tigray by the joint forces of Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Amhara. For those who are decent enough to admit the invasion of Tigray was not caused by the attack on the northern command. That was provoked in order to use it as an excuse to execute what was planned a long time ago. It was too obvious that all Ethiopians will be angered by the attack. Ethiopians became too sentimental; but most have considered it as a God send opportunity to justify an attack on Tigray.
What are being branded as "rebels" are those benevolent leaders that prevailed in Ethiopia for 27 years after defeating the brutal military dictatorship after 17 years of arduous armed struggle. They took Ethiopia to economic and social heights unprecedented in its long and dark history of feudal and dictatorial rules. The "rebel" leaders had their weaknesses as human beings; but the challenges they faced after removal from power, by palace conspiracy not by election, was disproportionate to the mistakes they made. The sad irony is that those accusing them of state mismanagement and invaded their home region were also an integral part of the problem. It was only might that became right.
The EPRDF government continued to function after it removed its leading element: TPLF. The undercurrent of this apparently benign coup was a torrent of hate directed at Tigrayans which is shared by the Amhara from the ordinary people to the highest political personalities belonging to the current and previous governments. It was the hate against Tigrayans that caused the hate against TPLF; not the other way round. Otherwise TPLF was a much better leader for Ethiopia, in countless respects, than the monarchy and the military dictatorship. The parameter was not excellence in political leadership; whatever TPLF did for Ethiopians it was never appreciated. TPLF was and is hated because it is Tigrayan. That is the truth, the whole truth. The hate for TPLF is not caused only by what it did while in power. It was there from the outset. When TPLF was pushed from power it moved quietly to its home base: Tigray Region. The world must have been surprised by such a dignified exit of these otherwise strong-handed former guerrilla leaders, who built the military in their own image and could have wreaked havoc to Ethiopia's peace. It was a great sense of responsibility unexpected of Africa's incumbents. It was a typical display of Tigrayan responsibility for Ethiopia's existence.
The cause of the war of invasion in Tigray is the hatred of the Amhara on Tigray which occupied the minds of generations. The Amhara hate is enabled into an invasion because of its historical control of the bureaucracy and key positions in the state apparatus. Their aggressive campaigns of propaganda have made use of state media, an opportunity brought by the fact that Amharic is the official language of Ethiopia. The media that had to serve over 80 nations and nationalities has for a very long time now turned into the service of the Amhara to brainwash the rest. The only "crime" TPLF committed is holding an election when national election was postponed for a non-valid reason. They were trying to save democracy in Ethiopia from doom in at least one of its Regional states. TPLF was trying to save self-rule which is enshrined in the Constitution. The federal constitution which liberated the nations and nationalities of Ethiopia was the brainchild of TPLF and a Tigrayan gift for the oppressed Ethiopians. The election in Tigray must have been an example for them, but the nations and nationalities joined the chorus to condemn TPLF as "rebel". It is a conundrum of the century when conducting election becomes a "rebellion" and those freed by the Constitution have become the loudest critics of an election in Tigray which was conducted as per the dictates of the Constitution itself. Who insane mind thinks that election is punishable by war?
If logic is to be the guide for thinking TPLF cannot "rebel" by conducting elections. "It takes two to tango". Election can only be done if people are involved. A political organization cannot conduct election in the absence of the electorate. It is possible to force people into conscriptions as Eritrea is doing. One can coerce people into labour camps as the Pol-Pots did in Cambodia; It is not earthly possible to force people to line up in millions, in the ballot stations, in the pitch darkness of the night. Even if the cruelest tyrant succeeds to force people to vote the turnout would be too low to justify an election result. To force 2.7 million people in Tigray TPLF must send at least one million soldiers to pull out voters from their residences. Would this remain hidden to the world? We know the world has appreciated the way the election was conducted. It was not perfect, but it was based on the full consent of the people in the voting age. So, if it is the election that is considered as a "rebellion" by TPLF, the identification of the "criminal" has gone wrong. If there is "criminals" here they are the 2.7 million people, who voted with enthusiasm and celebrated the results. It is extra-mundane to accuse people who vote to elect their leaders as criminals. There is no "rebel" in Tigray; all are law abiding citizens. These people have 3000 years of statehood and an advanced polity contributing a number of historical treasures to world civilization. Tigray has world class sons: Yohannes IV, Alula Abanega, Meles Zenawi, Tewodros Adhanom, Tewolde Gebremariam, and others. Tigray contributes to peace not to anarchy. It is clear to everyone who is willing to see. What is happening in Tigray is not targeted at the "rebel" TPLF. The mass killing of unarmed civilians, the massive scale looting, the claim of a third of Tigrayan territory by Amhara hordes, who were allowed to ravage Tigray, the full-scale involvement of Eritrean troops cannot be just to apprehend rebel leaders of TPLF. The fact that the end of the war was declared without arresting any one of the “rebels” TPLF leaders clearly shows the aim of the war was to devastate and weaken Tigray into complete submission.
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