Ethiopia: Ethiopian Human Rights Commission – The war in Tigray Region and the worrying state of human rights protection (14.11.2020)

Ethiopia: Prime Minister Abiy has unleashed a beast he cannot control

What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty or democracy?”Mahatma Gandhi

On the 3rd November 2020, ten days ago the first reports of the Military Operation was happening in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia. Now 10 days ago a lot has happen. There will be more of a aftermath for every single day. Especially, since the state is shielding their efforts with total black-out of information. Where there is only their “information” or leaked statements from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). Which is the one party that is under siege and is deemed illegal by all means since the start of the war.

Prime Minister Ahmed Ali Abiy ordered this on the 3rd November 2020. Since, then his government have issued all means to stop Tigrayan people from working. Sacking them for the ethnic background. That is what is happening.

There is even massacres happening, possible destruction of land-marks and expensive infrastructure like a dam generating electricity. That is the sort of state of affairs. There is even speculations, but not verified that several of incarceration units have been put in place just for Tigrayan citizens across the republic. However, this has not verified, but with the other sackings and issuing stay-home orders for them. The state is working directly to make life hard just because of ethnicity… that is the sort of life the Prime Minister has to offer his citizens.

To revenge the TPLF he has to take everyone who is with their ethnicity. That is the sort of fella the PM is. This is the sort of revenging means. Not only delegitimize, discredit and criminalize the political party, but also target the general population of the region. That is what he has done and is doing. This is why the civilians are fleeing. Already over 14,000 has fled within 10 days of battles.

The Prosperity Party and the Federal Government should be torn in the flesh. As the warfare is killing not only Tigrayan soldiers, but also killing civilians. The Federal Government is also losing soldiers as casualties as well. Therefore, the bloodshed is happening and at a pace we don’t know. The battles, the skirmishes and the “Law Enforcement Operation” aka Warfare will cost lives on all sides. It will hurt innocent civilians and it will continue to cause havoc for a long time.

The PM is responsible for this. It is on his orders. There is even orders to keep students away from campus and the universities. They are supposed to enlist and join the army. That is the sort of government the PP is at the moment.

When the PM ordered the army to attack the TPLF. He might thought it would be a quick fix. There has been reports of moving brigades from Somalia to fight there as well. Now, his enlisting students to add new men to the battlefield as well.

This here will not be over quickly, especially when the PM and PP has shown no interest in mediation from IGAD, Kenyan Special Envoy or from African Union. The PM is more involved in hoping to write the final death-note of the TPLF.

This here hasn’t just escalating, but is spiralling out. Sooner or later, the TPLF and other groups will use the weakness of the government. They will ensure the moment of weakness to strike. As the government is occupied in a futile war over a constitutional dispute. Which could have been resolved over negotiations and dialogue. However, the Prime Minister prefers to solve these things with guns to install favourable allies. This is why he wages this war and works to eliminate the TPLF.

The TPLF isn’t saints, but the PP isn’t honourable either. The TPLF should answer for past sins in office. Just like this PM has to answer for his. He will answer for this war and the lives his taken on his watch. That is just the tragic result of this.

When you start a war.. you never, never know how it ends. However, you have opened up a door to reality that moves and shifts. War isn’t an animal easy to domesticate. It is a wild animal and a brutal one. It can look friendly, but if you stir his play-pen you will torn to pieces. Therefore, the end-game is unknown and the results might not be what the goal when it was started.

This PM will live with this. His whole party and all his allies will answer for these actions. They will be remembered for this war. It has only been 10 days. We have no idea of the ramifications, but we know innocent lives has been taken. People are hurt, starving and bombed. There are communities in dire need and warfare is an ugly beast. An ugly beast the PM unleashed on his own citizens on the 3rd November 2020. The ramafications of that beast is all on him. He has to be responsible for what happens during thsi time. The costs, the pain and the suffering for unleashing this beast. Is all on him. Peace.

Ethiopia: Bachelet expresses alarm as Tigray conflict “risks spiralling out of control” (13.11.2020)

GENEVA (13 November 2020) – Amid emerging reports of mass killings in the town of Mai-Kadra, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Friday expressed increasing alarm at the rapidly deteriorating situation in the Ethiopian region of Tigray.

She warned that if the Tigray regional forces and Ethiopian Government forces continue down the path they are on “there is a risk this situation will spiral totally out of control, leading to heavy casualties and destruction, as well as mass displacement within Ethiopia itself and across borders.”

While the details of the alleged mass killings reported by Amnesty International in Mai-Kadra in south-west Tigray have not yet been fully verified, Bachelet called for a full inquiry.

“If confirmed as having been deliberately carried out by a party to the current fighting, these killings of civilianswould of course amount to war crimes, and there must be an independent investigation and full accountability for what has happened,” she said. “However, the first priority right now must be to stop the fighting and prevent any further atrocities from taking place.”

The UN Human Rights Chief said that despite the severing of communications with Tigray making it difficult to verify the extent of the damage so far, she had received reports from a variety of sources suggesting increased airstrikes by Government forces as well as fierce ground fighting between the opposing forces.

“I am also extremely alarmed at reports of cuts to essential water and electricity supplies, in addition to the communications blackout and blocking of access by road and air,” she said. “This means there is already a dramatic impact on the civilian population, in addition to the risk of death or injury as a result of hostilities.”

The UN Human Rights Chief repeated her 6 November appeal to both sides to begin talks with the aim of an immediate cessation of hostilities.

“I strongly urge both sides to realize that there will be no winner in such a situation and begin a serious dialogue to resolve their differences without delay,” Bachelet said. “A protracted internal conflict will inflict devastating damage on both Tigray and Ethiopia as a whole, undoing years of vital development progress. It could, in addition, all too easily spill across borders, potentially destabilizing the whole sub-region.”

Sudan: Eastern Border | Ethiopia Situation – Weekly New Arrivals Update (As of 12 November 2020)

Beginning of November 2020, UNHCR has recorded an influx of asylum seekers at border entry points in East Sudan from Ethiopia, after military confrontations in the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia.

UNHCR’s teams at the border areas of the eastern Sudanese states of Kassala and Gedaref are working with the Sudanese Commissioner of Refugees (CoR), local authorities and partners to monitor and respond to the situation, as well mobilizing resources to provide life-saving assistance services to the new arrivals. Inter-agency coordination and contingency response planning is well underway

Ethiopia: UNHCR – Over 11,000 asylum seekers flee Ethiopia across border to Sudan (12.11.2020)

Ethiopia: Urgent Call and Appeal for Peace in Ethiopia from Citizens of the Horn of Africa (11.11.2020)

Opinion: Prime Minister Abiy will be remembered for this bloodshed

The reasons and backstory to the conflict in Tigray is an important story, but not one I will touch. There is disinformation and propaganda out from both parties. The Prosperity Party (PP), the governing party in Addis Ababa has their reasons for their “manufactured consent” in this conflict, which is raving the Tigray region. Tigrayans are hurting because of the government attacks and the direct aim at dismantling a defiant regional party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

The PP and Prime Minister Ahmed Ali Abiy cannot reverse this conflict now. The PM cannot stop the issues that it creates. The conflict and the warfare in the region has consequences for the civilians, internally displaced persons and everyone else who happens to be there. That is the nature of conflict. There is innocent parties, lives and livelihoods taken away, because the big-men has ordered this civil war.

There will be speculations and reasoning all different ways. It doesn’t help the Federal Government that it has used similar techniques and oppressive means towards the Tigray. As it has done when TPLF was coalition with the governing party PP. PP is the reformed and the consolidated party created out of the former government coalition Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defence Front (EPRDF). A EPRDF, which had parties from all regions ruling in accordance with the pact made. Where also TPLF was a key party and leader of it. Therefore, the PP is using their techniques to oppress the TPLF now.

The PP has done it with first disembark and disconnect the regional government from the Federal one. They stopped direct aid to the region and also tax funding of the regional government. The House of Federation dismissed and said the election this year in the region was “illegitimate” and “unconstitutional”. The Federal Government have blocked telephone-lines, social media block, internet and blocked roads to the region. The Federal Government also issued a State of Emergency and a Command Post there. The Federal Government have also termed the TPLF as a “Terrorist Organization” and now they are also taking away the immunity the TPLF leaders used to have. This is all done to criminalize and punish the TPLF by any means. While the TPLF have no ways of defending or addressing this by legal means, as the Federal Government is coming with arms, guns and soldiers to their region.

That is why the Prime Minister will be known not for peace, but for war. He has issued a war and doing direct warfare on his own citizens. Sending in air-raids, brigades of soldiers to take “back” land and get control of the Tigray region. The state isn’t interested in mediation or dialogue. The PP and PM seems to be focused on crushing the TPLF by all means of war. Not talk or negotiate, even if the International Community is condemning and if the multi-national bodies in the region wants to get involved like African Union and IGAD. Still, the PM seems not interested and only wants to totally revenge with anger towards the TPLF who didn’t join his “reforming” ways in the Prosperity Party.

Tigrayans has been purged from the state and affiliated work. This has happened because of what ethnic background they have and not even political affiliation. These has been sacked, arrested and so fourth. Even Taxi-drivers in Addis have been told stay home. There is also unverified speculation that sites been made in many of the regional states to house Tigrayans and keep them as convicts while the war is happening. However, that is only a few sources and not officially anywhere of yet.

Still, with all of this in mind. The Prime Minister has made this bed and is sleeping in it. He accepts the violence he prospers on and is issuing on civilians. Yes, the TPLF isn’t saints, but as a Head of State he is responsible for all of his citizens. As long as he has that Office. That is the role of him as PM. This is why his legacy will be known for this bloodshed. The killings of civilians, uprooting citizens and refugees elsewhere. The destruction of the Tigray region and all the costs it has for the people.

Yes, TPLF have been in the wrong. They misused their power and held at their capacity wrong-doings they should answer for in the courts and through due process. So, that there is equal before the law. Alas, here the state is the hangman and the judge before any evidence. Waging war with disinformation and propaganda. The TPLF answers with the same and therefore, the reporting is muddy as is. Since, the media is having a blackout and the state trying to sell their stories to the public. Which is why I’m questioning what is the truth and not.

However, in a conflict and warfare like this. The innocent dies, the civilians are hurt and the weak are the ones who are disappearing. The big-men survive and can continue to order violations of human rights and crimes against humanity. They can wage the war and accept the crimes committed in the name of war. This is done to win the war, but also secure the total destruction of the enemy. Because, that is the reason for the acts being made.

The Prosperity Party and Prime Minister isn’t doing this out of their kindness in their hearts. Just like the same leader isn’t ordering the arrests of political prisoners and silencing the Oromo leadership. Because, he cares about the population. The Prime Minister does this to consolidate more power. Just like he did, when he “reformed” the EPRDF into the PP. That is the sad reality of it all.

And as Head of State, as the Commander-in-Chief and the one on the top. Prime Minister Abiy is finally responsible for the actions made. He cannot run away from being accountable and answer for the sins committed during these days. This is his war and his orders. The decisions to do this is all on him.

The bloodshed, the massacres and the causes of violence in the name of this war is on him. The PM have to answer to this. Because, his responsible. I don’t care about the reason or back-story, because the innocent bystanders and citizens are targeted for no other apparent reason of their birth and ethnicity. A sort of variable that no human being decides on their own, but is born into. Therefore, it is unjust to pick one person out because of their ethnicity. That should never make anyone “criminal” unless they are actually doing something criminal or violating the law. This should make sense anyone.

To wage war over a possible “constitutional dispute” isn’t what we should see in 2020. The House of Federation and the Prosperity Party should act responsible as the governing party. As they have the options of deploying soldiers to anywhere in the Republic. Therefore, the PP and PM could have answered this differently. They could have investigated and used other legal means to answer this. Instead, they pulled the trigger and after trying to tell one story. The TPLF have done their wrongs and should also answer for that. However, I will not dismiss the wrongs that the current leaders doing.

This is why the ones dying, the ones killed and the ones fleeing is all on the Prime Minister Ahmed Ali Abiy watch. It is done with his conscience and through his judgement. This is why this bloodshed is his and only his. He could have stopped it and could have acted differently, but he picked this path. That is why … it is all on him. The man with the power, prestige and the office. The burden of action is on him.

Prime Minister Abiy will not be remembered for peace, but for war. That’s the truth of it all. Peace.

Ethiopia: Tigray Region Humanitarian Update – Situation Report No. 2 (11 November 2020)

Ethiopia: Clashes in Ethiopia’s Tigray region force thousands to flee to Sudan (11.11.2020)

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is working with authorities in Sudan to provide lifesaving assistance to more than 7,000 refugees from Ethiopia, who have fled across the border in the past two days.

The women, children and men reaching Sudan are seeking safety after a week of fighting between the Ethiopian federal government and the Tigray regional government forces.

Inside Sudan, arriving refugees are being temporarily sheltered in transit centres located near the border entry points of Ludgi in Gederef and Hamdayet in Kassala state. Water and meals are being provided. UNHCR and local authorities are jointly screening and registering people.

Expecting more refugee arrivals in the neighbouring countries, UNHCR is stepping up emergency relief preparedness in the region working with governments and partners to put in place measures to respond to additional displacements as the situation evolves.

“We are urging governments in the neighbouring countries to keep their borders open for people forced from their homes,” said UNHCR Regional Bureau Director, Clementine Nkweta-Salami, “While at the same, asking the Ethiopian authorities to take steps that will allow us to keep providing assistance in safety to refugees and internally displaced within Tigray.”

With thousands of refugees arriving at the Sudanese border in the space of 24 hours, and with the conflict appearing to escalate, the number is likely to rise sharply. This will require a significant mobilization of resources to address the needs of those seeking asylum.

Inside Ethiopia, UNHCR is deeply concerned for the more than 96,000 Eritreans living in the four refugee camps and the host community living alongside them, as well as the 100,000 people in Tigray who were already internally displaced at the start of the conflict.

Roads are blocked and electricity, phone and Internet are down, making communication nearly impossible. There is a shortage of fuel, and banking services have halted resulting in a lack of cash.

While camps are not in the immediate conflict zone, UNHCR remains worried about the safety of refugees and humanitarian workers due to the relative proximity of the camps to the fighting and the deteriorating situation. Access to refugees and others affected by the conflict remains a concern, including lack of access to border areas.

Ethiopia: The Sun is setting on Prime Minister Abiy’s legacy

This month has really revealed the thirst of blood. The bloodshed and the reports coming from the Tigray Region is worrying some. There are so much speculation and conflicting information coming out. Therefore, there is key aspects to this.

One, the dismissed, the disfranchised and shunned local government, Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is in defence. The TPLF have been the ruling party within the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defence Force (EPRDF), which is the former tormentor and oppressor of the Federal Republic. Therefore, if anyone knows the ticks of the political game. The TPLF knows and they also waged war to gain control of the Republic.

Two, is the Prosperity Party who is sending the army, Liyu Police and Amhara militias against the TPLF. The Prosperity Party is the ones left behind of the rebranded and consolidated EPRDF. This is way of the Prime Minister Ahmed Ali Abiy to gain more control of the government.

There is a talk of a third party in this conflict, but that isn’t verified. That the Eritrean Army is attacking Badme and other areas. These has been dismissed, but is still floating around. It is very hard to get the information. Therefore, I don’t know if it is true or not.

This is an effort made because of a constitutional spat between the Federal Government and the Regional Government. Also, a fall-out, which happened before that as the PM made the PP. While TPLF didn’t want to be apart of the that. Therefore, the grudges of old, as well as the leadership of PP in the new cabinet consist mostly of allies of the PM from the ANDM and OPDO.

Today, there is reporting of 6000 citizens fleeing from the region over to Sudan. This is Sudan News Agency that reports. There are reports of over 500 killed by battles between them. These 500 killed civilians has been used as propaganda for both parties. Claiming one or the other has killed them.

There is also the number of 2500 soldiers killed, but that is unverified.

In the midst of all this there is a purge on Tigrians citizens across the board. There is reports of civil servant, police officers and army commanders arrested for their ethnic background. Even taxi drivers in Addis who are suspended from doing their job.

There has also been arrest of 17 army commanders who disrupted the communications system and exposed federal forces to the TPLF. This was Military Top Officers who disagreed with the war and did reveal what was going on from Addis.

The state is also going after the media. This because the media is going against the “constitution” and isn’t following “rule of law”. Which is the whole reason for this conflict between PP and TPLF.

Today’s arrests includes:

Haftu Gebregziabher, of the Ethiopian Herald

Tsegay Hadush, of the Ethiopian Herald

Abreha Hagos, of the Arabic Al-Alem

Medhanie Ekubamichael of Addis Standard was rearrested today.

The Prime Minister is also stating in Amharic on social media that sun is setting on the Mekelle junta. This meaning the days are ending for TPLF. He also retorted on social media saying there would be no negotiations with them. He speak of their brutality, but not seeing his own. As it is not like this PM haven’t ushered in bloodshed in Oromia to be in power too. Therefore, the newest oppressor is lecturing the old on brutality. That is just stating mere fact.

IGAD, African Union and United Nations has pleaded for a cease fire. However, we know now that the PM will not stop until he has cornered and destroyed the TPLF. While the TPLF has no plan to lay down or die. They are planning to defend themselves. Therefore, this conflict will be prolonged and will be a bloodshed with huge numbers. These numbers are civilians and persons who will not return. That is how cheap lives are …

The Prime Minister has been asked to negotiate from IGAD and also mediate with Special Envoy Kalonzo Musyoka from Kenya. However, the PM has said no to these. With all of these actions. The Prime Minister’s legacy will be the bloodshed. The PM will be remembered for the airstrikes on civilians in cities in Tigray. The PM is issuing warfare in his own republic.

That is the reality of it all. It is a tragedy. Where people are dying and losing their lives as two parties are battling for supremacy. There is nothing good coming out of this. Only big-men trying to show hubris and overcome each other. Peace.