It has become a daily routine to hear news of massacres, killings and displacement in many parts of Oromiya and other parts of Ethiopia. The Qellem Wollega, Horro Guduru Wollega and East Wollega case has become more permanent than ever. Helpless citizens, including children, women, the elderly, and school pupils, are being slaughtered in their own homesteads and urban quarters. Displacement and flights from one’s own living space are becoming the order of the day. Huge agony, tears, and blood are becoming unescapable daily occurring. Hundreds of thousands who were forced to flee are left without any humanitarian care.
Our sources invariably indicate that these situations are made possible by the overall government structures. The Ethiopian National Defense Force, the Federal Police Counter Insurgency team, and armed settlers linked to Federal security forces, in tandem with the Fano outlaws, are the main perpetrators of these criminal acts. We have sufficient evidence that the Federal Police Counter Insurgency team, dressed in civilian outfits in a concerted and coordinated fashion, engaged in the massacre, displacement, and burning of residential houses of helpless civilians in the towns and rural areas. Recently, districts such as Amuru, Jardaga Jarte, Horro Bulluq and other neighbouring villages in Horro Guduru Zone have witnessed such atrocities.
On November 16, 2022, through such a coordinated attack by the aforementioned forces, Alibo Town, the town of Jardaga Jarte District, was raided. More than 200 houses were burnt to ashes. Residents were looted, their belonging confiscated, and they were forced to leave their areas. Others, in the bid to spare their life, took refuge in the nearby bushes.
On November 18, 2022, the Fano, right Infront of the Ethiopian National Defense Force, Ethiopian and Federal Police encampments, obviously with intelligence, financial, material and moral support, armed with heavy weapons, raided Kiramu town in Eastern Wollegga Zone and executed similar atrocities: killed, displaced and detained peaceful civilians.
One has to be clear with the intention and the identity of the actors that are spilling the blood and tears of the innocent civilian in that particular area of Oromia. In a similar fashion to the irredentist zeal over other parts in neighboring regions, the Fano force is being armed and supported by the Ethiopian National Defense Force and Ethiopian Federal Police Counter Insurgency team, which want to slice this part of Oromia into their favoured neighboring region. Likewise, it is part of the genocidal strategy of ‘draining the water to finish off the fish’. Such an atrocious act could have been forestalled by the federal forces had it not been in their interest to intimidate and silence the Oromo in Oromia in general and in these districts in particular.
We have appealed to the international communities and human rights groups several times. No positive response is on its way so far. We keep telling the international community who is obliged to respond to the common cause, such as human rights abuses of any kind anywhere, as stipulated in several UN conventions, by a state whose responsibility is to protect the wellbeing of its citizens.
Above all, we call upon our people to stand by one another and defend their people and territories in any manner possible to them. Concerted self-defense is the only means left to us.
Victory to the Masses!
Oromo Liberation Front
Finfinnee, November 19, 2022.
Today it’s 17 days since the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement was signed and agreed upon in South Africa. There has since then been an addition of how to implement it. Nevertheless, in the Tigray region, there are proof that the Tripartite Alliance are still active. Especially, one part of the Tripartite Alliance is there. This being the Eritrean Defence Force (EDF).
There already been reports of the EDF violating the terms of the agreement. This being kidnapping people, looting and continuing the warfare. Therefore, the Press Release from Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) named: “The brutal army of dictator Isaias Afewerki is committing horrific atrocities against the people of Tigray” was published today.
One part of it is striking and yes, the TPLF is the Government of the Region of Tigray. They are the current elected government of Tigray. The majority party and some Tripartite Alliance apologist is mocking this, but someone has to state a fact. It isn’t just language, but also clear cut reasoning. Just like the Prosperity Party is the de-facto Federal Government of Ethiopia. So, let us not squabble over that, but over the bigger issues.
Just read this part of the Press Release today!
“The people and government of Tigray have been fighting against the open invasion and genocide declared against them. According to the agreement, it was agreed to stop the hostilities and respect the constitution. However, the dictator is not happy with the peace talks process and instead of withdrawing his army from Tigray, he is introducing more units into Tigray territory and committing countless atrocities against our people. This brutal army is committing violence against women in its worst form; He is brutally massacring civilians; He is loading the resources and properties of the people and government of Tigray in vehicles and destroying and burning what he cannot take; Tigray’s heritage is also being destroyed and looted on a large scale; In general, it has intensified its comprehensive attacks against Tigray and its people after the South African agreement” (TPLF, 19.11.2022).
This is stating the brutal reality of what is happening in Tigray. While everyone was delighted with the headlines and the good news of a cessation of hostilities. The truth is that there are no silence of the guns. The invaders are still within Tigray and they are not going away either. Instead, the invaders and one party of the Tripartite Alliance is currently violating the agreement. That happens to be the EDF.
President Afewerki is far from over with the conflict and wants to continue the warfare in Tigray. He isn’t done with avenging old scores and bitter defeats of the past. That’s why he has to reign terror on this generation of Tigrayan people. This is what his doing and continues to do so.
We can just wonder what both Addis Ababa and Bahir Dar thinks of it. This is a liability and isn’t creating trust between Mekelle and the other stakeholders of this conflict. Prime Minister Abiy and his associates should be careful. The fragile peace agreement cannot be sustained or be trusted, as long as the EDF is terrorising Tigray.
Time will tell how this plays out, but this a worrying trend in the concern to the peace agreement. It isn’t that old and the ink is barely dry. While one party isn’t willing to stop. This makes it seem that the EDF wasn’t informed, part of or had any interest in stopping this war. The EDF is in it to annihilate and destroy Tigray. That seems obvious after two years of war. Peace.
“For the sake of our peace and prosperity, we made the first choice to end the war. There is no such thing as a good war or a bad peace; war is bad regardless of who wins. You kill people and spit out funds. Peace is always desirable. But if something happens that threatens Ethiopia’s existence, sovereignty, and unity, as well as national interests, we fight it. Negotiation is beneficial if these components are protected. Peace is not only the absence of war, but also the supremacy of the rule of law. Any peace talks or negotiations to ensure that law & order are observed are beneficial. We have discussed, agreed, and signed; now we must keep our word by making our promise a reality. We must work hard to avoid problems during the process” – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali (15.11.2022).
I’m just baffled and wonder what is going on. What is the end-game of the current affairs, which the 2nd November Cessation of Hostilities and the additional modalities of implementation from Nairobi will do. It isn’t like the Prime Minister is clear in his message or are direct about anything. His just doing his steady scheming and speaking in his ordinary fashion.
If I believe in Abiy or trust him… well… I have seen how shady and how they have resolved things earlier in the conflict. So, until I see some goodwill and reports of humanitarian assistance. Stopping air-raids, usage of drones and other means of war. I have a hard time to believe in the consequences of the CoH. That’s just the cynic, I am and with a reason. The man-made famine, the countless of massacres and the injustice serve the Tigray region since the start of the war in November 2020. There are enough reasons and bloodshed to question the ethics or the normative belief of the Tripartite Alliance attacking it.
That’s why another part of his speech or statement to the House of Federation was very interesting, as it is about the disputed Western Tigray and who has the claim over it. This has been disputed and been questioned all along in the conflict and right now the invaders or the Tripartite Alliance is besieging that part of Tigray.
Just read this here:
“Concerning Wolkait, the Pretoria agreement is aimed at bringing peace, not at resolving internal border dispute. It will be dealt with in accordance with the laws and regulations of our country. It is said that the areas were taken by force prior to the constitution, but such action should not be repeated today. If it is resolved in accordance with the rule of law, it will benefit Wolkait, as well as the Amhara and Tigray regions” (Abiy, 15.11.2022).
With these words in mind, let us reflect on the Article 48 of the Ethiopian Constitution:
“Article 48. State Border Changes
1. All State border disputes shall be settled by agreement of the concerned States. Where the concerned States fail to reach agreement, the House of the Federation shall decide such disputes on the basis of settlement patterns and the wishes of the peoples concerned.
2. The House of Federation shall, within a period of two years, render a nal decision on a dispute submitted to it pursuant to sub-Article 1 of this Article”.
By the words of Abiy he wants the internal dispute to be dealt with by law. Meaning either the Regional State has to negotiate themselves about the disputed territories. In this case, it is an issue between Amhara and Tigray regional states. If you do follow the Constitution on the principals of it. This means the states themselves has to accept or reach an agreement about it. However, if there is an impasse or an unresolved case. Then the House of Federation will decide a settlement instead.
Here we see the juxtaposition and the quagmire it is. Because, the Prosperity Party has all the power in Amhara and in the House of Federation. For Amhara Regional State it’s a blessing to get it into the House of Federation. Because, they are in the majority and will get their way. There is no way possible that the Tigray region will get it’s wishes. This because of the majority rule and the manner of which the current regime is residing. Therefore, to believe a case coming up in the House of Federation will not benefit or be in harmony with the people of Western Tigray. That will only be in favour or in accordance with the wishes of Bahir Dar. Mekelle will loose, if this case or dispute ever get to the House of Federation.
This is why the words of Abiy is interesting. He knows this and that’s why he can play it out like this. His allies and partners in crime in Amhara can get their loot. They can annex and ensure more power by taking land from Tigray. That can be done by a stroke of a pen. This is all they need, because we cannot trust a negotiation between Mekelle and Bahir Dar will get any sort of result. No, that is a dead fish in the water and it will never ever swim.
I don’t know what bridge Abiy is selling, but his surely building a bridge over dry land and not crossing a river. There is more to this and I wonder what. Maybe its just my mistrust after the years of wars and the endless lies. You cannot just be sincere after lying about nearly every aspect of the war. That’s why I am wondering who his catering too and for what ends. Peace.
Today, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) published their second Press Release on the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement of the 2nd November 2022. The party released already one Press Release on the 4th November and now the second one on the 12th November 2022. This is following questioning of the reasons and arguments for signing it.
The new Press Release continues where the last stopped. Nothing is shocking or out of the ordinary here. The TPLF is defending their reasons and the cause of the CoH Agreement. While they still have to work with and find support from within. That is it how it seems and after 10 days… there is still no silence of the guns, the humanitarian aide hasn’t entered the region and neither is there any goodwill from the Federal Government. So, the TPLF really has to wonder if this was really the trick or they was outplayed by the Tripartite Alliance by signing it.
They have called the Press Release: “Let us strengthen our unity and strive for better struggle!” and the first thing it says is: “People of Tigray, secure peace; Respect the Constitution; I will not surrender my right to self-determination.” He has been subjected to betrayal, oppression and injustice that history should not forgive. These forces of destruction have been conducting open military invasion with the aim of eradicating the people of Tigray from the face of the earth.
However, this is apart from the right, popular and just goal and iron unity. The people of Tigray, who had no military capacity, fought for their existence without being defeated by the coalition forces He has been carrying them. The forces of destruction that were determined to destroy it completely caused countless destruction and devastation to Tigray and its people but thanks to the hard fighting and persistent resistance, the dream of these forces did not come true to the extent they wanted” (TPLF, 12.11.2022).
We know the Tripartite Alliance have used all means since the November 2020 invasion. They have blocked humanitarian aide, utilities, communications and ensured the region has been hit with a man-made famine. This has been done deliberately to hit the region and weaken their war-effort. That’s why the agreement is questioned and the timing of it too. The TPLF is right about the annihilation and the planned destruction of the region. That is right about it…. but still asking for unity after signing the agreement. This should have been on offer and in talks across the region before doing so. Hard to ask for unity when your signing of your cause to someone who hasn’t been sincere or honest ever. That’s why the hostilities still lingers on and there hasn’t been a stop of the warfare from allies of the Federal Government.
The TPLF continues: “Despite the basic fact, we are seeing those who are rushing to accuse the Tigray government without saying that our reaching this agreement will endanger the will of our people. Therefore, our people at home and abroad should not be confused by this urgent and unreasonable conclusion and should not be intimidated by our peaceful negotiations. Because the Tigray government has no other starting point and destination than fulfilling the basic needs of its people” (TPLF, 12.11.2022).
It is natural that people question the reasons for the agreement… especially when the people has seen what the Tripartite Alliance has done and the rhetoric used by them. They came in “Operation Law Enforcement” but we know there was other things at play. Old grievances and consolidation of power, which was another reason for the war. The Prosperity Party and allies in Asmara and Bahir Dar wanted to settle old scores. So, the basic needs are far from met and there is little to show that the Cessation of Hostilities will bring it.
The TPLF Press Release ends with: “The victory of the people of Tigray is inevitable as long as we strengthen our unity and organize our capacities until our goal is achieved.
Our welfare and safety in our arms!!
Tigray wins!!” (TPLF, 12.11.2022).
The TPLF is asking a lot of it’s people, especially when there is yet nothing to show for it. Yes, the TPLF has a paper, but what worth does it have when one of the allies are still active in the region. The people are still feeling the war and isn’t getting the changes of peace. That is only in ink and therefore, the TPLF should explain this and why they trust the Federal Government on this. The Federal Government has done it to buy time and also ensure they have less international pressure. They might even get more funding from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. That’s why people like me thinks it’s trick.
Unless, the goodwill and things are changing rapidly. There is a need to see that. It’s hard to ask for unity. When there is no signs or reports, which shows a true cessation of hostilities. There is neither a promise of ceasing the blockades of the Region. That’s why time will tell… if there will be any difference, but the Federal Government has to show that its sincere. If not… it was all a lie and the TPLF played along to it. That would be tragic, because the Tripartite Alliance has to show they are done with the war and open the borders for humanitarian assistance… Peace.