THE URGENCY OF STOPPING ABIY AHMED’S AND ISAIAS AFEWERKI’S CRIMES
G/Medhin Blhatu 01-13-21
The dictionary defines gullibility as “a tendency to be easily persuaded that something is real or true.” As individuals, we often fall prey to commercial ads because of our gullibility coupled with our desire to solve, for instance, a health problem, with a miracle drug that is skillfully advertised. In the end, we lose money in the process without getting the benefit we expected.
In politics and media reporting, particularly on an international scale, gullibility can have tragic consequences resulting in the loss of human lives as we are witnessing today in Ethiopia’s war against Tigray. The illegitimate Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean dictator Isaias Afewerki know how to manipulate international opinion. Otherwise, how could they utter false statements like these:
· The blackout of communication over Tigray is due to cyber hacks, then quickly amended to another absurd lie, that it was infrastructural damage done by the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF). What about the earlier blackouts in Oromia?
· Not a single civilian was killed when cities were bombed from the air.
· There are no women and children, refugees, in Sudan. The refugees are mostly criminals and Ethiopia wants them back.
· After the TPLF tactically withdrew from Mekelle, and the army took over, Abiy Ahmed declared that the war was over and he has won, while fighting still goes on.
· “Eritrea is not involved in the war.” But the US, and recently Abiy’s commander has confirmed that it is.
Tigray was at peace when there were ethnic conflicts in various parts of the country. Tigray was abiding by Ethiopia’s constitution when it held free and fair regional elections. It was upholding the constitution which recognizes that nations and nationalities have the right to self-determination under the federal system. Abiy Ahmed’s goal is to abolish the Federal system altogether and re-establish the old centralized power structure under his rule as “king”. Early on, there was no visible preparation for national elections before the pandemic came, which Abiy then used as an excuse to postpone the elections indefinitely. Tigray kept asking for a national dialogue to resolve political differences but without success. Abiy’s mandate as a caretaker government expired on October 5, 2020.
Let us now consider the claims made by the illegitimate Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in declaring war against the people of Tigray, that test the gullibility of the readers and listeners. Abiy Ahmed claims that Ethiopia’s sovereignty must be respected, or that his quarrel with the TPLF is a domestic issue that does not need external mediation, and that his declaration of war against Tigray is to enforce law and order.
· How is the claim of “national sovereignty” to be respected when Abiy Ahmed has committed high treason against his own country by fully surrendering to the machinations of Ethiopia’s number one foreign enemy, the dictator Esaias Afewerki of Eritrea? Isaias’s army has invaded Tigray from the north at the request of Abiy Ahmed and has allowed Eritrea’s security agents to have a free hand in the internal affairs of Ethiopia.
· What is a domestic issue when Abiy Ahmed has invited the foreign Eritrean forces of Isaias Afewerki consisting of over 200,000 infantry, mechanized brigade, and commando to invade Tigray from the north; Isaias Afewerki’s army is engaged in killing, raping women and girls, destroying development projects, looting private and public properties and national treasures, and creating mayhem in Tigray?
· By what measure does Abiy Ahmed equate ”enforcing law and order” to a declaration of civil war against the relatively tiny state of Tigray using the nearly 150,000 federal armed forces including foreign Somali soldiers, supported by bomber aircraft, helicopter gunships, artillery; special forces from the neighboring Amhara State, the Amhara militia, and the Amhara armed Fano who have invaded Tigray from the south and west; and drone bombers, sold by the US to the UAE and Saudi coalition from their base in Eritrea’s port of Asab? Contrary to the false claim of Abiy Ahmed that “no single civilian was killed during the bombing” of the cities of Tigray, doctors reported 27 dead and many more wounded in Mekelle alone. It can be expected that future independent investigations will show the full tally to be much higher.
· Is the world to be fooled that destroying a pharmaceutical industry, a textile factory, developmental projects in agriculture, sources of water, and energy, and dismantling and transporting industrial machinery, and educational equipment and supplies to Eritrea, are justifiable acts of “enforcement of law-and-order”?
· How is “enforcing law and order” justified by the ransacking of Eritrean refugee camps by Isaias Afewerki’s military, killing some of the refugees, forcibly abducting others, and taking them back to Eritrea to face unknown suffering and eventual death, looting the refugee’s meager food supplies, and burning their crops, and destroying their water supply?
There was real law and order and peace in Tigray before Abiy Ahmed chose war over dialogue to resolve political differences. Now, there is no “law and order” in Tigray. Instead, there is anarchy and mayhem. Coupled with the ethnic cleansing of Tigrayans that is going on in the rest of Ethiopia, it is a genocidal war at its highest stage, according to Genocide Watch. Under the cover of a blackout of communication, Abiy Ahmed and Isaias Afewerki planned and are executing a scorched earth level of damage on Tigrayan lives and economy. Death through starvation, the pandemic, locust infestations, and perhaps even draught, would be their long term weapons of mass destruction. We can be assured that Abiy Ahmed will prevent any COVID-19 vaccines from reaching Tigray, the same way that he withheld donated chemicals and a drone to fight the locust before.
From the atrocious crimes that Abiy Ahmed and Isaias Afeworki have already committed against the people of Tigray, it would not be unimaginable that their end-game is to wipe out Tigray from the map as a geographic entity if they can. To achieve this, one possible scenario may be that the Amharas will claim Wolkite of western Tigray and Raya and Azebo of southern Tigray. The rest of the Tigray territory may be added to Eritrea. Isaias Afewerki may be willing to throw in Eritrea as part of Ethiopia under some arrangement, to provide access to the sea if he is allowed to be president of the new Ethiopia. Abiy Ahmed, being a minor partner, has to be satisfied to remain as PM and give up his dream of being ‘king’. Under this scenario, no national elections will be held or may be postponed indefinitely again.
Without immediate and forceful action from the UN Security Council (UNSC), the US, and the EU, Abiy Ahmed and Isaias Afewerki will not be deterred from pushing the genocidal war to its end. In the case of Yugoslavia, it was the forceful intervention by the US and the EU that saved the Muslim Bosniaks from complete genocide by the Bosnian Serbs. Unfortunately, the AU has recently indicated its support of Abiy at the IGAD conference in Djibouti, because many African governments disregard the rights of minority ethnic groups in their society. The US, EU, and UNSC have to forcibly open Tigray to humanitarian aid, expel the Eritrean forces out of Tigray, sanction Abiy Ahmed and Isaias Afewerki and their closest supporters, and call a national conference of all parties to discuss the way forward for Ethiopia. No matter how many war crimes and crimes against humanity can be heaped upon Abiy Ahmed and Isaias Afewerki, the evil damage they have done cannot be undone.
The people of Tigray have survived many adversities (but unlike the present one) throughout their history, defending the sovereignty of Ethiopia, a country that has not only disavowed them but has now turned against them. As always, they will keep fighting for their existence and in the end, be victorious!
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