Today, Prime Minister Ahmed Ali Abiy published yet another article defending the Law Enforcement Operation. Just to prove his statements and his views on the matter. As his government and his armies are getting critic and lacklustre behaviour in concern to atrocities and human rights violations there. They are willing to use all means to get his way and that is why his so defensive.
PM Abiy have written before about this and is staunchly defending, as he should, because this is his and he sent the army to Tigray in the early of November 2020. Now we are mid-February and the reports from the region is dire. The amount of Internally Displaced Persons are up to over 2 million and over 60,000 civilians have fled to seek refuge in Sudan. There is unverified reports about casualties, but the only number dropped internationally is about 50,000 people. While there is lack of humanitarian support, media black-out and a dire crisis towards the ones living there. This is self-made crisis, which Abiy stands responsible for. No matter how hard he vilify the enemy. As TPLF have a history and that should be challenged. Nevertheless, today’s crime and atrocities is done on his watch.
Today he wrote: “No government can tolerate its soldiers and innocent civilians being ambushed and killed in their dozens, as happened at the hands of the TPLF last autumn. My primary duty as prime minister and commander in chief of the national armed forces, after all, is to protect Ethiopia and its people from internal and external enemies” (Abiy, 11.02.2021).
It is very rich of an government who has deliberately killed civilians demonstrating in Oromia over the years. A government who has without mercy acted with fatal force in Ogaden. Is telling that the TPLF was the final straw. When the same party and state has acted like this and let massacres happening on their watch. It seems that he picked an enemy he wants to annihilate and get rid off without proper procedure, but through combat. That is how it seems to outsider like me. As he didn’t use a similar operation elsewhere. Only towards the party that didn’t want to consolidate into the Prosperity Party from the previous coalition. Very striking right?
Now come the puff piece words: “Our operations in Tigray were designed to restore peace and order quickly. In this, we succeeded, but the suffering and deaths that occurred despite our best efforts have caused much distress for me personally as well as for all peace-loving people here and abroad. Ending the suffering in Tigray and around the country is now my highest priority. This is why I am calling for the United Nations and international relief agencies to work with my government so that we can, together, deliver effective relief to all in Tigray who need it” (Abiy, 11.02.2021).
You bring in and prepare mechanical forces ahead of it. You order forces into Eritrean soil to attack on two sides of the regions. While claiming the TPLF was first to start the war. Also, the promise of quick and swift action is clearly not being served. As the conflict is continuing and there is persistent battles across the Region. The use of Eritrean Army and Amhara Para-Military (Fano) also shows are more dire need to revenge and avenge the fallen of the past. Not only restore “law and order” as it seems more like a policing operation. While this has been open warfare 4 months and the Prime Minister proclaimed victory already on the 29th November 2020. So, his three months later and not yet finalized it. As his troops and allies are still there violating the peace.
Just yesterday the International Red Cross said 80% of the public or population in Tigray wasn’t getting their needs met and humanitarian operations are not still working. There been a few small signs of progress, while there been destruction of two refugee camps and huge amount of devastation in the region. Which we cannot assess or understand the total damage done by the conflict. So, his wording is nice, but the reality is so much more brutal.
He continues: “My government is also prepared to assist community leaders in Tigray who are dedicated to peace. Indeed, we are already reaching out to them. The international community understood what the TPLF was. Many had condemned its ethnic-based violence. Sadly, some were ready to turn a blind eye to TPLF torture, disappearances, and extrajudicial killings. Without the TPLF, it was said, Ethiopia risked fragmenting along ethnic lines, like Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Ethiopia’s collapse, the argument went, would usher in chaos across the Horn of Africa. Common sense tells us that a regime based on ethnic division cannot last; but, as the saying goes, common sense is not always common. Fortunately, human societies can tolerate racial, ethnic, and religious violence for only so long” (Abiy, 11.02.2021).
When he says this… we are supposed to forget how he and the House of Federation made the September 2020 election deemed illegal. How the Federal Government ceased funding to it and also stopped also movement and aid towards Tigray before the warfare last year. So, it is unique that he wants to work with community leaders. When the elected ones are deemed unfit and gone to war at. Also, installed his own interim local regional government in its stead. It seems like it is cool with the violence he supporters and orders, but all the TPLF was directly bad. Yes, the ills of the past that TPLF should be answered for, but this isn’t the way out. Not if you want legitimacy over it as well.
What is also striking, we are supposed to forget the violence, extra-judicial killings of his government in other regions, which is prevalent in Benishangul-Gumuz, Ogadaen, Oromia and in the Afar region. It is not like Tigray is a lonely incident and the only place it is happening. So, his sense isn’t that common, when all those other deaths are water under he bridge. He accepts that and thrives on the bloodshed elsewhere, but only went to war in Tigray. That seems insincere here and that there is most likely alternative motives to do so.
He also states: “The 2018 vote moved the country in a new and inclusive direction. The political party I now lead is the first in Ethiopia that is not based on race, religion, or ethnicity” (Abiy, 11.02.2021). Well, here the Prime Minister is lying, as we are supposed to forget the CUD who became the Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ), which was formed in 2008. This political party had members from Oromos, Amharas, Tigrayans, Somalis, and Afaris. So, UDJ was before the PP and this PM. His a decade late to this party and his coalition EPRDF have arrested and been targeted. Therefore, him speaking of inclusivity. Maybe, he should allow this Party to co-exists if he believes in this? They didn’t allow their leaders to be candidate in the previous election in 2015? Will that change or is all the political prisoners of Oromia a sign of what’s ahead of the Elections in 2021?
That’s why its arrogant that you are saying this: “An Ethiopia free of the TPLF will champion peace and inclusive development. Internally, our “New Ethiopia” will be based on equality among all of our constituent groups, including the suffering people of Tigray. Externally, we will act in a way that recognises that our national interests are inseparably linked to those of our neighbours” (Abiy, 11.02.2021).
I do not believe this statement from the Prime Minister. There is enough lacking development and freedom in the Republic. If there was more peace and justice in Oromia. We could maybe differ, but when people are going-on hunger-strike for close two weeks to get free from prompt-up charges. So, the “New Ethiopia” is more of the “old Ethiopia” with a new public relations team and a warlord as head of state.
He finish with: “Only an Ethiopia at peace, with a government bound by humane norms of conduct, can play a constructive role across the Horn of Africa and beyond. We are determined to work with our neighbours and the international community to deliver on this promise” (Abiy, 11.02.2021).
Yes, everyone in their right mind wishes that Ethiopia is at peace. However, as long as the government is violating citizen’s rights, blocking them from assembling and participating freely. There will be no true peace in the Republic. It will be a fake peace, as the opposition are targeted and behind bars. If not they are blocked from participating in an election. So, that the Prosperity Party can reign supreme Post-2021.
I know that Abiy will work with Asmara, Djibouti, Nairobi and Mogadishu, but creating enemies in Khartoum and Mekelle. That is because of the actions of the government of Abiy. He is using force and armed invasions there. This is why it will not be peace, but war. A war that he has started and his prolonging.
Abiy isn’t a man of peace, but of war. His word may be of peace, but his actions is of war. That is why his a warlord. Peace.