Anguish in the midst of feast

As many in our world greet the New Year with feasts of various sorts, using the holiday as a rare event to a family reunion, millions of IDPs in Ethiopia are living in anguish, grieving the death of their loved ones in the brute hands of the terrorist adversary. Quite a few women, girls and minors are in a gut-wrenching situation after they were dishonored by neo-fascists. Sadly, it is phony politicians and the media in the west that are emboldening the criminal enterprise.

Worse still, particularly the politicians deliberately conspire with the group, the terrorist TPLF, in the name of defending the interests of their respective people.

A September 17, 2021 executive order of Pres. BIDEN laid the truth bare in this regard. “I find that the situation in and in relation to northern Ethiopia […] constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”

This crafty preamble aims at interfering in the domestic affairs of a sovereign state. Ethiopia and the US have been advancing their common objectives in various fronts. Ethiopia has been a strategic ally to the US in the Horn of Africa. But the recent policy of the Biden administration towards Ethiopia is a misguided one. It is very clear that few individuals who established long-contacts with the past ruling clique have secured top positions in the administration.

The TPLF was associated with terrorism since the outset. It is “a terrorist organization listed in the Global Terrorism Database and the Terror Research and Analysis Consortium (TRAC) which the U.S. government had classified the same group as a “tier III” terrorist organization until 2014.

The group in its callous pursuit to destroy Ethiopia gets supports including near-real-time satellite imagery and other information, communication equipment and similar assistance from its confidants in the west. In addition to this, the confidants throw a substantial amount of diplomatic backing behind it. The UNSC summoned meetings more than a dozen times on Ethiopia, the UN Human Rights body recently contradicted its own previous decision by establishing human rights experts who investigate the same cases that had been investigated by its experts.

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR’s) joint report on the alleged human rights violations and abuses, violations of international humanitarian law and refugee law in the context of the of the conflict in Tigray, Ethiopia, carried out from 16 May to 30 August 2021, was already made public. Despite some concerns, the government of Ethiopia is implementing the recommendation made by the joint body.

The push for a second time investigation on a similar case hints the presence of a hidden interest among some members of the UN human rights body. If they had real human rights concern, they should have responded to a call for independent investigation on the atrocious crimes the TPLF terrorist committed in the Amhara and Afar regions.

In the places the terrorist invaded in the wake of a unilateral ceasefire the government declared on June 28, 2021, which the TPLF spokesperson called a “sick jock”, the forces invaded the neighboring Afar and Amhara states. To dismay of many, they instructed their troops to gang rape nuns, wives/mothers in front of children and husbands. They also raped girls in front of their parents; slain a boy in front of his brother and father; burnt all members of a family adding fuel to the flame and locking them inside their house. Are they relay concerned?

Quite a few of the war captives told the national media that they received instructions to do all kinds of evils against the Amhara people.

The group planned and executed atrocities to make the people of Amhara and Afar languish in perpetual poverty. Its spokesperson Getachew Reda in public bragged that there was a plan to settle a score particularly with the people of Amhara. The cause of the war is obvious—TPLF wants to come back to power with military means.

The group deliberately ransacked and turned to wreckage public infrastructures such as hospitals, schools, industries, universities, banks, factories, telecom, airport, offices and museums. The enormity of the destruction is hard to comprehend. It has not been heard of in the history of Ethiopia. Reports being compiled by various credible bodies have also shown the magnitude of the destruction. Some 7,000 schools were ransacked and destroyed, property worth 200 million USD was looted and destroyed only from Wollo University; in addition to the destruction and looting on agricultural input in Amhara state, 1.5 million Ha of the farm has been made out of use. In both Amhara and Afar states 2,193 health facilities are destroyed.

It is heart-rending that millions of pupils are forced to be dropouts and also people with diabetes and blood pressure as well as pregnant women are unable to get medication for the health facilities are reduced to debris.

It does not need a mental flexing to understand that the death rate in the two states is on the rise.

Though they are coming at a snail’s pace and are aimed at winning some kind of political motives, some rights groups also reported the crimes the group perpetrated.

As the first anniversary of the Maikadra Massacre was being marked, Amnesty released a report on the Nefas Mewcha killing of innocent civilians at the bloody hands of the terrorist group, see the report it released on November 9, 2020.

Here is the title of the report, ‘Ethiopia: Survivors of TPLF attack in Amhara describe gang rape, looting and physical assaults’

• Women raped at gunpoint, robbed and assaulted

• Lack of medical care after TPLF fighters damaged and looted the hospital

• Abuses committed as Tigray conflict has spilled over into the Amhara State

The Rights Organization Secretary-General Agnès Callamard described the egregious crimes as the “acts by TPLF fighters that amount to war crimes, and potentially crimes against humanity. They defy morality or any iota of humanity.”

There are not any credible explanations as to why Amnesty chose to report the Nefas Mewcha massacre giving a blind eye to similar despicable acts at Galicoma in Afar; Kobo, Kombolcha, Shewarobit, Gashena, and the likes. Its methodology to the Nefas Mewcha report was just making phone calls to victims, victims’ parents….So, why has it failed to make similar phone calls to victims and victims’ families at these places? We don’t know.

What you should do

The western hemisphere is very much familiar to Ethiopia, an ancient state which practiced statehood since long ago. Ethiopia is a unique place with well-preserved cultural and religious similarities with both an Eastern and the Western world as well. No gulf prevents the western world not to cooperate with Ethiopia. If there is one, it is because of the greedy politicians that have long contact with the TPLF, and if there is another, it is the rapacious mindset of extending imperialism. Hence, a few of the rational voices of western scholars and politicians alike must be heard before it is too late.



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