“A command post is a committee of military personnel that actually holds power in an area under a state of emergency. In addition to command posts, the army also controls areas on many interregional borders” (Netherlands – ‘Country of Origin Information Report Ethiopia’ February 2021).
Today the National Security Council released a statement after holding a meeting. This meeting and statement is revelling the rising insecurity across the Republic. The authorities and the republic’s forces are stretched, apparently. Since there aren’t anywhere to hide or seek relief. The state is also claiming to catch “terrorists” on the regular, but that could also just mean “dissidents” or “opposition”. Since the Federal Government have hang of arresting vocal activists, journalists or anyone who dares to oppose it. Therefore, the definition of “terrorist” in Ethiopia in 2022 can be a bit “blurry” to put it mildly.
However, there was too very revealing things in the release from the National Security Council and even in the government press. The Command Post isn’t a new thing and was part of the former State of Emergencies that the previous Prime Minister and his political allies used to target dissidents. That’s why reading about them now and without declared “state of emergencies” it is clearly a tool of oppression and use of excessive force. Not that it’s shocking, since the army is used against civilians and not to defend the territories of Ethiopia against invaders. Alas, here is one of the problems. While the same government uses Command Post and goes after civilians while competing with rebellions. It surely is losing grounds and moral high-ground. Since, the population see the usage of force and cannot see the possible difference between a “terrorist” and a “government agent” except for the badge or label on their uniform.
Just read here from Government Friendly Press:
“According to the statement, to fully destroy the OLF-Shene terrorist group, command posts of Shewa, Wollega and Guji have been formed in Oromia Region. The national Defence Force, Oromia Region leadership and security forces are undertaking coordinated deployment to this end. Statement indicates that 3,280 militants of Shene have been captured, and others refused to surrender to the government forces have been destroyed” (Fana BC, 08.08.2022).
“The Somali Regional leadership mobilizing and involving the people took an exemplary measure against the enemy, the Council said. Saying that a command post including the national army is established, the council indicated that 813 Al-Shabab militants were killed while 79 others captured in a join operation” (Fana BC, 08.08.2022).
Yes, the OLF has targeted just like Querro did in the past. This is a continuation of that and the OLF has only been more vigilant as they are operating in what seems like war. That has been done for months and the state has promised to do the “final operation” and finish them. However, they never seem to be able or have the capacity to do so.
The attacks of Al-Shabaab is different and is foreign terrorist organization attacking Ethiopian soil. That is understandable and within reason of what a National Army should do. What I am more worried about is the establishment of Command Posts, which has been reflected as a means of “State of Emergency” and been used as a tool to silence the citizens of any given region, which we have seen before in Ethiopia. That’s why the Command Post usage both place can be questioned. Because, this tool has been used in the EPRDF time and now under PP.
This isn’t a sign of peace, but utter insecurity when the army has to control parts of regions under Command Posts. It shows that things are dire and not in good place. Also, shows how far reaching the troubles are now. As it is burning wherever you turn. Especially, if you read the statement of National Security Council. There wasn’t corner where the authorities needed to be vigilant or acts with suspicious. That is just saying something and how things really are. Peace.
Fana Broadcasting Company – ‘Council Praises Positive Steps Taken To Reduce Internal Vulnerability, National Security’ 08.08.2022
“There is good news and bad news. The good news is that humanitarian truce that was agreed in March- April is holding and has allowed us to bring in humanitarian supplies….The bad news is that after 20 months of War, the Amhara and Afar situation is not getting better” – WFP Country representative for Northern Ethiopia, Adrian Van Der Kaap (Yesuf Endris – ‘WFP calls on Int’l organizations to support Amhara, Afar IDPs’ 04.08.2022, Ethiopian Press Agency).
We do need more corridors, we need the humanitarian truce to continue and we expect that it will continue. But, we need to open more coroners. Of course, we need more funds as we burn our money
The humanitarian assistance and the man-made famine, which has been created over the months of blockade. A blockade of not only the most basic humanitarian assistance, which is food and basic necessities. The Tigray region has not had banking services, internet or telecommunication. Therefore, the Tigray has been put in a horrible place of starvation and lack of medicines. That sort of actions makes the international partners rally more for help and get the Federal Government to stop the blockade before it’s too late.
That is something everyone must understand. The policy of doing this to a war-torn region and a battlefront of the state. It is showing what sort of ideology and sort of retribution the state does to the ones that has fallen out of favours. The Tigray region has become a burden and a target of the state. To think otherwise is naive after the start of the conflict and launch of the “Law Enforcement Operation” in November 2020. The months of blockade and the stoppage of humanitarian assistance will hurt for years to come. The amount of damage, pain and suffering is unknown.
With that in mind… the news of people struggling, living with barely nothing and starving in Afar region. Is yet another tragedy happening in Ethiopia. The Afar region is a victim of the state sponsored conflict in the North. The Afar people is being put in between the battlefield and on the front-line of the conflict at the same time. They are middle-men who are seeing the convoys of humanitarian assistance going to Tigray. That is a necessary thing, but they could have seen this coming. The damage is already done and the humanitarian organisations struggling to meet the vast needs in Tigray alone. A sort of game of who is the hurt most and who is bleeding the most this week. Which isn’t fair to anyone and that’s why Afar feels betrayed.
The ones that betrayed Afar isn’t the World Food Programme or any United Nations organisations. No, it is the Prosperity Party that made Tigray suffer to a level, which makes it impossible for the organizations to bring enough to needy elsewhere. They don’t have the manpower, the warehouses with stocks of food or equipment in general. The time laps and the lost periods are now costing. The cash-strapped organizations will be put to a test. When the people of Afar is also feeling the pain of what the Federal Government put into play in Tigray.
No one deserves this and everyone should know that. No one should starve, no have food or shelter. That is a need every human being has. No matter what tribe, religion or creed. People need food and shelter. Afar people needs that and the people of Tigray needs it too.
This is just a proof that the WFP and anyone else who supports humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia. Needs to get more help and donations. There is need for bigger pledges and the bureaucracy of the government has to open up. The game of blocking and stifling the attempts has to be over. Unless, they want this to run rapid and get closer to capital. Because, the more you play this vicious circle. The more people are dying and the more innocent lives lost. More pain and suffering, which could have been avoided. This is a deadly game and it’s been coordinated to a T from the leaders of the Republic. That should be known and the Afar people deserves better. So, does also the people of Tigray. It is just a sinister plot, which has ramifications that we couldn’t see in advance. Because, who knew the Prime Minister and his associates would be this cold and lack of heart for his own citizens. Peace.