Tigray never rebelled against anyone, invaded no one or started war with anyone. But Tigray was invaded for insisting to live by the spirit and substance of the Constitution of Ethiopia. With a total news blackout, a blockade on all life sustaining goods and with troops from multinationals equipped with tanks, war planes and drones, people are dying by the thousands and many fleeing for safe havens! And if history is any guide, this is not a war about politics, but it is a hidden holocaust or a genocide on the faithful, war on the peaceful and tyranny on Democracy!
By Hailemariam Abebe
It has now been about a month since Tigray has been invaded by a regional, national and a multinational army the likes never seen in the history of this home to the great Axumite Empire. But if one reads what the major news outlets (Reuters, BBC, DW, France 24, Aljazeera, The Guardian, Bloomberg, Fox News, The World, NYTimes, Washington Post, CNN, AP, VOA etc.,) report, what he or she is bound to read is about a war between the Ethiopian Ex-PM, Abiye Ahmed (his legal mandate as a PM ended last September 2020) and the “rebellious” region of Tigray! Yet, Tigray never rebelled against anyone, invaded no one or started war with anyone but insisted to live by the spirit and substance of the Constitution of Ethiopia which she built with the blood and sweat of its children!
No one seems to remember that it was Tigray which brought down the tyranny of the Menguistu regime, a Communist thug who condemned Ethiopia to the “Misery Index” of the world, and for which the world once came together to chant “We are the World!” How is it that choosing democracy over that of Abiye’s tyranny, a rebellion? Is it not in fact Tigray which is serving as a bastion or guardian of reason, and law and order when it insists adamantly on democracy and conducts open and fair election complete with international standards? How is it that Abiye Ahmed Ali, could peddle his “law and order operation” snake oil to pulverize Tigray, and the international press consumes it without due diligence and repeats it to the rest of the word ad nauseum as though, Abiye was some kind of legitimate/legally elected Prime Minister with a track record of democratic credentials and one with the best interest of Ethiopia, when as the facts of the last two years, speak loud and clear, that he is in fact a damaged human being devoid of not only democratic credentials but also one without moral, spiritual, ethical and legal guardrails so critical for a country of complex challenges such as Ethiopia? And that is not the worst part!
The worst is the relentless repetition, ad nauseum, of the so called “law and order operations” nonsense peddled by a man whose hands have been soaked with the blood of the innocent, not only since Abiye declared his war of “law and order operations” in Tigray but also, he so spilled Ethiopia-wide, ever since his ascent to power about two and a half years ago! And of all those NGOs who supposedly cares for human life, peace, justice and democracy, no organization has been more culpable and caused so much damage than the International Crisis Group (ICG) which framed the Ethiopian tragedy in terms of Tigray versus Abiye, when in fact, the reality has been Abiye versus the Ethiopian people! It has been this mis-framing of the root cause of the tragedy which has, no doubt, oriented the international press to where it “can’t see the forest for the trees!” And so, as the war of extermination rages on, the International Press, has done an excellent job misinforming the international community not only about the real cause for the war but also about the players, both domestic and foreign, in the war!
First, had the ICG and the press done their job with the due diligence required for this deadly topic with genocide not only as a probable but certain, had it been able to see the forest for the trees that has been the Ethiopia since the ascent of Abiye Ahmed Ali to the help of power in Ethiopia, they would not have missed the fact that ever since he came to power, opposition to his rule has been, with the exception of the elite in the Amhara regional state, Ethiopia-wide! So much so that, of the nine administrative regions in Ethiopia, eight of them have been ruled not by a democratic law but by “military command posts!” Tigray has been the only administrative region which until Abiye declared war on it about a month ago, the only state, free from military “command post” rule! And it was not that Abiye did not want to impose his tyranny on Tigray at the earliest of his tenure but the people of Tigray, as a people of faith, culture, law and honour, would have none of his totalitarianism! The people of Tigray have not only known Abiye Ahmed Ali, as an Arab Trojan Horse but also intellectually, morally, spiritually and ethically ill-equipped to handle Ethiopia’s transition into democracy! That, in fact, he is a man suffering from the poverty of intellectual, moral and spiritual deficit, has been not only obvious in his actions of the past two and a half months, to the people of Tigray but also brightly spotlighted to all the people of the Nations and Nationalities of Ethiopia minus the Amhara elite who have brought so much damage to the Ethiopian people for over a century!
For a starter, as was mentioned elsewhere above, eight of the nine administrative regions have been under military rule just about since he became a Prime Minister. At this very hour not only Tigray but Oromia (most populous), Benishangul Gumuz, Hadiya, Kembata, Sidama, Qimant, Agew, Afar, Somali, and Gambella are convulsing with either outright insurrection as in Oromia or at different stages of an uprising as is the case elsewhere in the other regions! The fact that these regions are under military “command post,” testifies not to, because the people were happy with Abiye Ahmed Ali’s rule but fed up with his sheer inhumanity the likes never seen in the history of Ethiopia! He has not only rendered Ethiopia as a prison by “command post” but also, he has imprisoned the political leaders of the country and their supporters without the due process of law! Here is a man so packaged and peddled as a “reformer,” ruining Ethiopia into smithereens not only as he renovated the palace he resides in and built parks around it with billions while millions were being rendered refugees but also as the international press, human rights groups and governments of the West watched for the past two and a half years, and yet, one would hardly find anything written in the major global news outlets, which lifts the curtain over the façade! Even as Genocide Watch raised the genocide status to alert, the Western press which dominates the news of the world has failed to do its job in uncovering the hidden agenda and players in the crime against Tigray! Nothing about the multinational angle of the crime and the involvement of Eritrea, Somalia, Egypt, UAE, and Saudi Arabia of which the latter two have been mortal historical enemies for nothing else but their warped notion of Tigray, even though the citadel of Islam too, being a “Christian Island in an Arab Sea!”
How is it then, the international community must be asked, that such a lawless man who not only rules by “command posts” but also post ponds holding an election mandated by the Constitution, using the COVID pandemic as an excuse but COVID was no issue when invading Tigray, could be allowed to wage war under the pretext of “law and order” and burn a peaceful people busy fighting COVID, underdevelopment, locust and a people about to harvest their crops, and all these while creating a democratic Tigray, to the ground? Moreover, as the international community knows, unlike Abiye Ahmed Ali who post pond the constitutionally mandated election using the COVID snake oil, Tigray, while in the midst of the COVID pandemic and an invasion by a biblical locust, honoured the spirit and substance of the Constitution and conducted an internationally acclaimed democratic elections the like never seen in the African continent! And so, the international community must answer to their conscience who, Tigray or Abiye Ahmed Ali should have the moral high ground to speak of “law and order operations?” Here is a man under whose watch some of the most revered Ethiopian citizens have been gunned down (Engineer Shimengnew, Generals Seare and Gezai Abera, Dr. Ambachew Mekonen and his colleagues, musician Hachalu Hundessa) and whose attorney generals and police chiefs have looked the other way or provided the most inexplicable rationales, committing genocide in Tigray under the guise of “law and order operations” and yet the UN, AU, EU and ICC (International Criminal court) along with the Western Press, have failed to prevent the birth and eventuality of another Rwanda!
What is sad and inexplicable is the international press and community’s failure not only to stop Abiye Ahmed Ali from his genocidal war but also that the international press and major powers with satellites, have failed to name the other players in the genocide! As the senior African analyst recently pointed out on Africa Report, there is in fact an international dimension to the conflict in Tigray! In an article entitled “Hidden World War,” the analyst warned the AU and the world not only of the involvement of Somalia and the UAE but also the “growing human suffering amid atrocities in which cities and residences are systematically destroyed by combined Ethiopian and Eritrean forces seem to go unnoticed!” Others, especially Tigrayan and Eritrean opposition forces along with the Federalist forces of Ethiopia, also believe that Egypt and Saudi Arabia are also involved in the current war in Tigray. According to these sources, while Egypt’s involvement is connected to the GERD, Saudi Arabia’s goes way deep into the notion of Ethiopia as the “Christian Island in an Arab sea!” While Egypt’s policy for about the last century has been dedicated to keeping Ethiopia economically poor and unable to exercise sovereignty over the Nile, Saudi Arabia’s has been guided by what could only be termed as a Jihad against the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed who called on Muslims to “never harm the Habesha people” who then were the Axumites whose seat of power was the current Tigray! The very people and soil of Tigray where UAE and other Arab drones are pulverizing are in fact the very people and soil that not only served as the safest sanctuary for the followers of the Prophet and one of his sisters, where the King of Axum (Tigray) gave Muslims, for the very first time, legal protection to practice their faith but also the very people and soil which, as the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo, Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb, once told the German Parliament, the Bundestag, that the “King of Axum saved Islam reiterated, if it wasn’t for Emperor Armaha of Axum, Islam as a religion, would have been destroyed by the rulers of Mecca at that time. ‘Christianity was the first to provide sanctuary for Islam; without Abyssinia and its Christian king who protected the first Muslims, Islam would have been destroyed in its cradle.” And yet, it is to this sacred people and their sacred soil, the current and past Arab oligarchs, have waged jihad against this citadel of not only Christianity but Islam as well!
There is the other open secret the Western Press has failed to report on too. Just about since Abiye Ahmed Ali’s ascent to power, Tigrayans have been the target of imprisonment, discrimination and firing from their civil service jobs! And Tigrayan business people as well as ordinary Tigrayans have been not only threatened but also killed and ethnic cleansed from the Amhara administrative region! And since Abiye declared war on Tigray, up to fifty thousand Tegaru have been condemned to what are hidden concentration camps scattered throughout Ethiopia! Abiye Ahmed Ali even asked the AU and the UN to pull Tigrayans from peace missions! There are purges going on around the clock! And yet, what does the Western Press which is supposed to be the bulwark for the facts, do? It simply repeats Abiye’s line which time and again, have proven false or fake news!
But it has not been the press alone; Amnesty International (AI) had gotten into the act too, when it reported, without doing the due diligence and without thorough investigations, suggesting that forces belonging to the government of Tigray may be responsible for the massacre of “scores of civilians …in Tigray state!” This has been extraordinarily heartful to every Tigrayan, for, Tigray, as the seat of the three major religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) of the world, never in its history massacred anyone; it is in fact a land where its people believe killing is in the domain of the God! And there is no question that when the investigations are fully and dispassionately conducted, the evidence will show it was in fact others who have committed the heinous crime! Make no mistake about it, as they have done since time immemorial, the people of Tigray, will pay a heavy price but as a people of good and honour, born to be free, they will, like it has been the case throughout their long and proud history, prevailed over those disciples and merchants of evil who have committed such horrific crime against humanity!
Meanwhile though, the Western Press along with the major powers of the West, and the NGOs can help in, not only to stop the genocide and ethnic cleansing advocated and executed by both Abiye Ahmed, Isayas Afewerki and their Arab handlers, against Tigrayans but also hold them to account for their crimes against humanity in the International Criminal Court (ICC)! Remember that ever since Abiye came to power, the people of Tigray have been busy fighting underdevelopment, building democracy and holding an election as they fought COVID and a locust invasion! They have never fired a gun against anyone and invaded no one! As the rest of Ethiopia burn in ethnic, religious and political fires set by the Abiye regime, Tigray has served not only as a sanctuary to many Ethiopians from other regions and Eritreans but also it has been peaceful, engaged in productive work! There was no reason whatsoever for Tigray to be invaded by regional, national and multinational armies! Invading and causing enormous suffering to those engaged in peaceful endeavours, can never be anything else but a crime against humanity. But the enemies of the people of Tigray have just done that; Tigray has been not only invaded but a massive force totalling some over four hundred thousand, is razing it to the ground!