Ethiopia: Eritrean Movement for Democracy & Human Rights (EMDHR) – The human, social and economic cost of the war in Tigray (22.09.2022)

The origins of the war in Tigray in November 2020, like almost all other wars in the world, are political. By politics, we mean the power struggle between political forces when one tries to implement the unlimited desire to dominate the other by force of arms instead of politics. This Tigray war is between the Ethiopian political forces led by Abiy and the TPLF and the Eritrean political force led by Isaiah. All these political forces describe themselves as being forced into the war. Abiy says we should respect the law, TPLF says it is a question of existence, and Isaiah – Game Over! -He says we have no peace until the revolutionary is destroyed. They all try to appear to be truthful to the people they claim to represent.

Leaving the political analysis to politicians, we will try to look at the consequences of the Tigray war in terms of its human, social and economic impact on the peoples of Ethiopia, Tigray and Eritrea.

Human loss

War is destruction, the first and irreplaceable killer of human lives. How many tens of thousands of young people lost their lives in the last first round alone, not counting the second round that erupted in recent days? How many tens of thousands have been maimed?

When a young person dies, his father, mother, brothers, wife, children, and all his relatives in general are hurt. If he had children, they would be orphaned, grow up without a father, and the emotional trauma of his absence would torment them for the rest of their lives. His wife raising young orphans, the sudden heavy burden, the rough life she goes through is unimaginable.

How many parents have not died in grief after telling of the sacrifices of their children in the 1998-2000 border war for independence and Eritrea? How many have lost their endurance in old age?

Those who are blind, amputated, or otherwise disabled, who should have carried their families, become the burden of their families, their people and their country.

The human losses of war are very difficult to quantify. His scars for generations are incomparable.

Social loss

War is a blazing fire for everyone it touches! How many families have been displaced and displaced because of this war. How many women have been raped? This violence leaves indelible scars for the rest of their lives, leaving them with physical and psychological wounds, tormenting not only themselves and their families but the whole society, and has irreparable damage.

Because of this war, peoples who have lived together for centuries have become divided, revengeful and killing each other. The racially motivated massacre in a village called Qadra shocked everyone and showed that man can lose his humanity and become a beast.

When this war finally stops, politicians say goodbye, and the lucky survivors return home, how many of them will suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?

Prolonged war creates unwanted disruption in society. These young people who are dying in this war are losing time to study, work, get married and raise their children. Women who should have been married live unmarried, children who should have been born are not born, and those born do not grow up in families with stable fathers and mothers. All of this combines to create a huge disruption in the community.

Economic loss

As we watch in the media, we see the war in Ukraine turning cities into powder with our own eyes. That is the fruit of war. How many buildings, hospitals, airports, big bridges, factories have been destroyed in the Tigray war? Today the destruction may be in Tigray or other parts of Ethiopia, if it enters Eritrea tomorrow, we have no different fate. How many millions, billions of dollars would this damage be?

You need an immense amount of money to wage war. Modern weapons, fighter jets, drones, rockets, tanks, ammunition, other weapons, provisions, fuel, etc. As third countries, these modern weapons, arms, fuel and so on, we do not produce in our country, so they have to be bought from abroad in dollars (hard currency). It is unthinkable that we will have reserved dollars if we cannot provide basic supplies to our people. So everything will be bought on credit. When will this loan be repaid? Who will pay for it? Once the politicians who started the war are removed, it will ultimately become the burden of the country and the people.

The immense amount of money being spent on the war should have been spent on developing the country and building hospitals, schools, roads, farms, factories, universities, businesses, and other infrastructure. If these infrastructures are not built, students will not have schools, the public will not have access to basic medical services, drinking water and electricity. If infrastructure is destroyed, the economy is destroyed. If the economy collapses, the people plunge into extreme poverty that lasts for generations.

This is only a glimpse of the consequences of war from the sea. We hope that social studies scholars will write about the consequences of this war in detail and teach us.

What should be the public reaction

As mentioned above, this war was fueled by a few power-hungry politicians. These politicians are criminally responsible for the lives of thousands of citizens who are dying in vain. What is our reaction, peoples of Ethiopia, Tigray, and Eritrea? As the saying goes, the people are bearing the brunt of this war. If the loss and destruction is the burden of the people, the people themselves must find solutions without waiting for politicians to change the situation.

First, he must believe that war is not the solution. He should not be deceived by the propaganda of politicians. Like it or not, the people only benefit from living in peace with each other. Hatred is not the solution.

If the people unite, there is no obstacle. “Dir Biabr, binds a lion,” as the Amharic proverb says, a thread that ties, binds a lion. The people of Eritrea, Ethiopia and Tigray, to all political leaders, “Refuse to fight! We will not give our children to death! ENOUGH OF THE PAST!” They must tell them.

conclusion

Because of the Tigray war, our region has been devastated and our people are on the verge of death and destruction. Our social fabric is being destroyed, our economy is being devastated, and our people are suffering from poverty, misery and persecution. We fear that this war will plant hatred that will last for generations. We are not blessed with wise political leaders who put the interests of their people and country first. The peoples of this region must stop the war that is destroying these poor countries without waiting for politicians to stop it so that their future and the future of their children can be secured! ENOUGH! and what his stage demands. It is not too late for people to talk to people, to find a way of reconciliation and peace. The people must raise their eyes and stop the destruction of their youth. He should hold these politicians accountable for the blood of the thousands who are dying.

Peace to the peoples of Ethiopia, Tigray and Eritrea!

Eritrean Movement for Democracy and Human Rights (EMDHR)
September 2022

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