Ethiopia: Prime Minster Abiy the War-Lord

Since the inception of the “Law Enforcement Operation in the Tigray state on the 3rd November 2020. The realities of what has gone down is clear. Though the ramifications, the extent of the hurt and suffering is still unknown. What the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) and Eritrean Defence Forces (EDF) who has collaborated in a joint effort to go after the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

This joint venture sure has consequences as the brothers in arms are intertwined with the fate of the operation. An operation that was in its final stages on the 28th November 2020, as the Prime Minister stated in his piece: “Mekelle under command of the National Defense Forces”. That’s 12 days ago and the battles are still going on.

There are some reports of 3 fronts and others says 5. What we do know is that the TPLF and the brotherhood of Addis Ababa and Asmara is going head-on. They are together in this and doing it’s bidding. Also with a para-military group from Amhara who also conquer areas and has annexed it. Moving the population and inhabiting it with Amhara’s instead of Tigrayans.

While the warfare is going on in a media blackout. Where the international media is banned from entering. Where the local media only can play the songs of the Prime Minister. Not a place for free speech or speaking your mind. If you do or dares to do so. Then your ending in prison for whatever charges the state can muster on you.

This war is really ensuring what Prime Minister Ahmed Ali Abiy will be remembered for. Not matter how he reasons, adjusts the messages or trying to trade it. It is warfare with airstrikes, shelling of towns, burning villages and fleeing refugees to Sudan. It is with closed borders, use of tanks, soldiers, para-military groups and even friendly fire from Eritrean forces on Ethiopian soil. That just says it all.

If the Prime Minister would have another legacy. He has already tarnished it as he promised “no mercy” on Mekelle before it fell. However, the final phase never ceased. Therefore, the humanitarian corridor to the state of Tigray haven’t happened. The United Nations and the World Food Programme haven’t been allowed to enter. Neither has other multi-national organizations, as the state wants the region to suffer. This is the legacy he remains.

As he has fought a war and ordered a war. A war in total silence and blocking not only aid organization, but anyone but the armed forces and it’s allies. God knows what happens, as the electricity is out, phone-lines are jammed and internet black-out too. Bank accounts opened in Tigray is also frozen.

Therefore, after everything is said and done. The Prime Minister can now be deemed a warlord. He is using military forces against his own citizens and “occupying” own territory with foreign adversaries to settle old grievances.

That is why we can say the Prime Minister is the War-Lord. To say anything else is a lie. He is using these means and should be credited for it. Even if the man is trying to distort and white-wash the narratives from Tigray. He can still not flee the scene or get rid of stories that he creates.

PM Abiy isn’t a man of peace, but of war. That is imprinted with him forever. Peace.

Ethiopia: Exceedingly worrying and volatile situation in Ethiopia – Bachelet (09.12.2020)

The following is a transcript of remarks UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet made at a press conference in Geneva on 9 December 2020 in response to questions on Ethiopia:

“The situation in Ethiopia is exceedingly worrying and volatile and – as I had warned – is spiraling out of control, with appalling impact on civilians.

In the Tigray region itself, fighting is reportedly continuing – in spite of Government claims to the contrary. We have reports that particularly areas surrounding towns like Mekelle, Sherero, Axum, Abiy Addi, and the borders between the Amhara and Tigray regions, fighting continues between federal forces and the TPLF, and affiliated militias on both sides.

We have corroborated information of gross human rights violations and abuses – including indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian objects, looting, abductions and sexual violence against women and girls. There are reports of forced recruitment of Tigrayan youth to fight against their own communities.

A major impediment is that communication in the region remains limited, and we have been unable to access the worst affected areas so are unable to fully verify these allegations through fact-finding missions.

There is an urgent need for independent monitoring of the human rights situation in the Tigray region, for all necessary measures to protect civilians, and for accountability for violations.

The humanitarian situation is deeply distressing. In spite of an agreement between the Government and the UN, unfettered humanitarian access has not been possible. I appeal to the Government to fulfill the Prime Minister’s pledge to ensure humanitarian access, and to ensure access to water, electricity and other basic needs is restored.

Elsewhere in Ethiopia, there are numerous reports of ethnic profiling of Tigrayans, including in Addis. We have reports of dismissals from jobs – including in the civil service – harassment of Tigrayan journalists and hate speech against Tigrayans. Such discriminatory actions are deeply unjust but are also fostering divisiveness and sowing the seeds for further instability and conflict. I urge the Government to take immediate measures to halt such discrimination.

We are also concerned that there has been a reported rise in intercommunal violence in recent weeks in other parts of Ethiopia, particularly in the Amhara, Benishangul-Gumuz, Somali, Afar and Oromia regions, which has reportedly resulted in fatalities.

I urge the Government to ensure that humanitarian actors can do their life-saving work without fear of attack, and to ensure that those responsible for attacks against humanitarian workers are held accountable in accordance with international human rights and humanitarian laws and standards.”

Ethiopia: Prime Minister Abiy blocking aid to Tigray

There needs to be clarity as it pertains to UN access for humanitarian assistance. The agreement signed is for assistance to be led and coordinated by the Ethiopian government. No entity, multilateral or unilateral can supplant the responsibility of the government”– Ethiopian Ambassador to Eritrea Redwan Hussain (08.12.2020)

In moments like these it’s easy to loose hope in humanity. As the ice-cold hearted men are ruling in impunity and in injustice. They are not only ordering war together with allies, but brutally stopping United Nations and other Humanitarian Organizations access to the battle-torn region. As they are blocking World Food Programme and others access to the Tigray Region. The National Army has already killed UN Personnel after the “ceasing” of “warfare” and the fourth phase was starting. Alas, the government wasn’t honest about that either.

The government and Eritrean forces is still battling it out in Tigray. God knows the consequences and the damage being done. The amount of looting, gender violence and blunt killings. As the state hasn’t allowed reporting nor investigations into the matters. Only self-serving propaganda and media releases, which benefits their cause and not the whole truth. Just like the TPLF is dropping their dozes and their stories to benefit them. Therefore, both parties are blinding the perspective, while blocking for a third eye to see the deal.

The Humanitarian Corridor have been blocked, as it was a week ago the United Nations and Federal Governments signed an agreement. This is happening after weeks of reporting of blocked borders and shelling of towns and Mekelle in Tigray. There over 50,000 civilians who has fled to Sudan and who knows whose hurting more. As there are reports of raids, looting factories and taking assets from the region. We cannot imagine the horror or the suffering happening right now.

This is happening while the UN and World Food Programme haven’t been allowed to enter since 4th November 2020. That is over a month without logistics and manpower to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), the Eritrean refugees and citizens lacking basic commodities. As the state and the army have blocked them from entering. That is grave act against humanity to block food, water and basic commodities to enter the region.

That the Prosperity Party and Prime Minister Ahmed Ali Abiy can do this and continue to freeze accounts, block telephone-lines and internet. Is all big black-out of information in combination of blocking international reporters and journalists from writing on it too. As the Federal Government only wants their “victory” and “fluff” pieces out.

The Ethiopian authorities doesn’t want the truth. The brutal truth. The reality and the hardships, the amount of deaths, the killings and the crimes against humanity out. They want it silenced as they know what they are doing, but doesn’t want it told. If they had nothing to fear or nothing to loose. They would have opened up the floodgates, as this is free food and commodities. The state isn’t paying for it or delivering it. No, its foreigners and international funds collective engagement securing the basic needs of starving citizens. This isn’t taxpayer money from Addis Ababa or revenue earned from exports. No, this is international solidarity given to the region of Tigray.

The humanitarian effort given by the United Nations and others are by the donors making it possible. Not committee controlled and working for the Ethiopian government. No, they are coming there because the Ethiopian government doesn’t have the capacity or the heart to help its own. This is why a “third force” is entering with a mandate of peace and shelter. Something the Federal Government cannot sufficiently deliver or have the ability to serve its citizens.

If everything was fine and dandy. Then the UN and World Food Programme wouldn’t need to come. However, the dire needs and the situation at hand. Their hands and their services are needed. Because, the Addis Ababa clearly doesn’t have it or can do it. If they did, then it would have happen a month ago. Peace.

Ethiopia: Tigray Region Humanitarian Update – Situation Report, 7 December 2020 (07.12.2020)

Ethiopia: Very Concerned by Situation in Ethiopia’s Tigray Province, Secretary-General Calls for Quickly Restoring Rule of Law, Public Services Delivery (07.12.2020)

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary‑General António Guterres:

The Secretary-General is very concerned about the current situation in the Tigray province in Ethiopia.

He feels that it is essential to quickly restore the rule of law, in full respect for human rights, promote social cohesion, an inclusive reconciliation, as well as to re-establish the delivery of public services and guarantee unfettered humanitarian access.

The United Nations remains totally committed to supporting the African Union initiative. We also remain fully committed to mobilizing the full capacity of the United Nations to provide humanitarian support to refugees, displaced people and all populations in distress.

The Secretary-General has also been conveying these messages in the numerous conversations he has had with United Nations representatives on the ground and regional leaders, as well as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia with whom he spoke today.

Ethiopia: Office of the Prime Minister – Current Phase of the Rule of Law Operations in Tigray Region (07.12.2020)

Ethiopia: Unconfirmed reports of the arrests of TPLF President Debretsion and Advisor Reda

BREAKING : Tigray state president Debretsion Gebremichael reportedly captured alive along with other senior aides during a joint operation by the Ethiopian Military and Amhara Regional State Paramilitary Forces in the conflict hit Tigray region of Northern Ethiopia” (Halgan Media, 06.12.2020).

Unconfirmed reports on social media TPLF leader Debretsion is arrested but Amhara Goverment office advising to not celebrate since the arrest is not confirmed and official yet” (Addis Media, 06.12.2020).

There also reports that Getachew Reda was also arrested with the TPLF President Debretsion as they we’re fleeing the area in Sekota as priests. Some has said the Woreda Communications have confirmed this and that they are held by the Court Martial.

However, none of this information is currently verified. It is not yet clear. The Media blackout and government stranglehold on information. Makes the process of gathering information from the Region of Tigray much harder. Therefore, we can not yet say if this is true or not.

It would be a big blow for the TPLF. Losing main leaders and getting them behind bars. These folks will get no mercy from the Federal Government. As they will be proven “terrorists” in their eyes and will not shown any redeeming character. They will be taken and shown as an example for the rest of the Republic.

This would be a big victory for the Prime Minister and the Prosperity Party. If these two are arrested and other aides of the TPLF President Debretsion. The TPLF will be damaged by this. We don’t know how this goes for the Command Structure and the current fighting in the Region.

If these folks are arrested. It is a propaganda victory. Nevertheless, I doubt it will be enough to cease the fighting and the current battles in the region. Peace.

African National Congress (ANC): ANC Calls for Peaceful Resolution of the Conflict in Ethiopia (05.12.2020)

Plan International – Ethiopia Conflict: Urgent support needed for unaccompaanied child refugees in Sudan (03.12.2020)

Ethiopia: Tigray Region Humanitarian Update – Situation Report No. 7 (01.12.2020)