The Deafening Silence of Ethiopians is Silently Slaying Ethiopia
Ethiopia is today in the throes of a profound internal crisis. For the last two and half years, the Ethiopian body politic has undergone what might be described as an acute political crisis. People have been repeatedly demanding to improve governance at local, regional and federal levels. They have raised for government resources to be used to create and provide jobs for the young people. Rather than listening to the public concerns and introducing badly needed reforms, Abiy Ahmed chose confrontations with the federalist forces as well as with his political opponents. In order to maintain his political power, he aligned himself with Amhara extremists, Isaias Afewerki and peered over the amassing of the forces of darkness.
Ethnic conflicts and political violence ensued mainly from the refusal of the federal regions to Abiy Ahmed’s intention of eroding the federal regional states’ rights of self-governance. Curiously enough, it should be noted that no serious legal action was instigated against those who exacted violence on innocent citizens. By now Abiy’s actions and his intentions are clearly signaling the centralization of power under his control. The concentration of power under one man accelerated and in effect the constitution of the country started dying in the cradle. While the constitutional rights of the ten federal regions have been undermined one after the other, ethnic groups who stood up for their constitutional rights end up in prisons. A significant number Ethiopians chose to keep quiet and tacitly supported Abiy Ahmed.
Ethiopia under Abiy is increasingly becoming a nation of high walls and barbed wires for the mass incarceration of ethnic groups. The incarceration of the Oromos in thousands is heartbreaking and it is ironic considering the fact that Abiy’s power started with the broad shoulders of the movements of the youth of the Oromos. Yet, the deafening silences of the political elites who are living in urban areas, most notably in Addis Ababa, is very disconcerting.
To Abiy Ahmed, to Amhara elites and to Isaias Afewerki, the TPLF stood in its pristine form as a guardian of the federal arrangements of the country and as a vanguard to the rights of self-determination of nations and nationalities of Ethiopia. True, that is a principled political stand of the TPLF for a long time and it should not lead to the “elimination” or “liquidation” of the TPLF.
Instead of finding political solutions via dialogue, increasingly the TPLF and the OLF became the political punching bags for all the political ills and blamed for any violence that took place in the country. The demonization of political opponents are short sighted political tactics to put the TPLF and the OLF out of the political space and thereby pushing parties into difficult violent confrontations. Painting political parties or groups as “enemy agents” in the sphere of public imaginations creates a sense of “treason” that must be punished by prison time or face “liquidation.” These political tactics are deployed to give an immoral and illegal sense of justification for killing, bombing, raping, looting, and imprisoning of Ethiopians.
Political liquidation or elimination might take different forms. The savagery of the violence against the Oromo people and the Tigrayans that are subject to the onslaught of the Ethiopian army has the obvious implication that they should be exterminated without mercy. In essence, the Abiy Ahmed regime was preparing the public to the normalization of violence and the savage wars unleashed in Tigray and Oromia. Even in Addis Ababa, it should be noted that the lack of law and order during Abiy Ahmed’s years of leadership is staggering.
The ethnic killings have reached a sickening level of inhuman conditions and immorality. These are prime examples of the prevalence of violence throughout the country. In turn this norm is creating an atmosphere of fear, numbness and thereby public silence. Thus, whether founded on religious or humanistic values, it leads to the degeneration of spiritual values as well as the erosion of duties and responsibilities of citizens. Thus, these conditions created a fertile mind set and provided just the right vehicle for genocide and mass killings.
The involvement of Eritrea in Tigray gets the critical observer deep into the greatest mystery of all, one for sure it raises the question of the violation of sovereignty of the country. Given an overwhelming evidence, why are the Amhara elites trying their best to deny Eritrean involvement? I could only imagine that the Amhara elites do not want to give any credit to the Eritreans in capturing Mekelle. The fact of the matter is the Isaias army and the UAE drones played decisive roles and the Isaias army is playing a decisive role in the occupation of Tigray today.
It is also curious how the Amhara chauvinists who are actively raising the question of sovereignty vis a vis the border conflict with Sudan have avoided honest confrontation with the Eritrean involvement. Their profound lack of pronouncements and their conspiracy of silence on Eritrean army’s deployment in Tigray make it clear that their stand on “sovereignty” is wholly unprincipled. Furthermore, their world outlook became a victim of their own ultra-nationalist beliefs and it is clouded with an active fascination of hatred and chauvinism. These are the people who would go to almost any length to avoid confronting the horrible facts of the war taking place in Tigray. They are equally unwilling to face up to the genocide and barbarism that is marching in Tigray. They are unwilling to raise their voices to the realities of Isaias Afewerki’s vindictive policy. To do so will be to admit and accuse themselves with the war crimes committed in Tigray. So they preferred to show no remorse and they continued silently to swim in the sea of tears and blood of Tigrayans.
Viewed in the context of the involvement of Eritrea, Abiy Ahmed become a traitor to the principles upon which he and the EPRDF generation wrote the constitution of the country—as a petty, vindictive man who is prepared to bleed Tigray to death for the greater glorification of his ego. Considering the recent news of the Sudanese troops’ deployment with the prior knowledge and agreement of Abiy Ahmed, no doubt that Abiy is without peer in the chronicles of Ethiopian history.
I do not know what to make of the Isaias army. However, I tried my best to express my feeling in reaction to what the army is doing to innocent civilians. But to no avail and words failed me to describe it. The only thing I could manage to sprinkled with my pen is the following. The Isaias regime had once for all destroyed the Eritreans’ human integrity and Isaias is marching into Tigray with tyrannical efficiency. Looking from the behavior of the Isaias army, Isaias has found the formula for turning human beings into animated robots. Even though there is a mountain of evidence that the fate and the sovereignty of the country is presented by Abiy Ahmed to Isaias Afewerki on a silver platter, the deafening silence of Ethiopians is unnerving and dangerously leading the country to genocide.
Let me leave you with Aristotle’s formula for proficient dictatorship: “Breed mutual distrust among the people, make them incapable of action, and break their spirit.” This sounds the right recipe for Isaias Afewerki’s Eritrea and for Abiy Ahmed’s Ethiopia.
Tigray will prevail!
Eternal glory for our martyrs!