(By Teumelsan Admasu) –
It will be two years come October 2022 since Tigray was invaded by the joint Ethiopian and Eritrean armies, augmented by the special force of each regional state of Ethiopia. The invading joint army instituted a scorched-earth policy, which progressed into a fully fledged genocidal war in the process. Ethiopia is to become the first country to have deployed foreign forces with the intention to perpetrate genocidal war on its own people.
The worst atrocity took place during the first eight months of the invasion, when the region was under total control of the Ethio-Eritrean army. The army intentionally targeted the civilians (young and old) and went on burning crops, killing draught animals, stealing & destroying properties and dismantling the infrastructure with impunity. Raping women and girls and denying access to essential needs such as food and medication was used as a weapon of war.
The brutal invading armies were later driven out of the region by the gallant civil defense force of Tigray. And went they did, with their tails between their legs to where they came from.
Following this, the region was left with no functioning schools and communication networks; none of the clinics and hospitals is in working order, the service industry is at a standstill, which is imperiling the citizens of Tigray and throwing the region back into the dark ages. This is going on in full view of the entire world. The regional and international agencies and the world community at large are doing very little by turning deaf ears to what is going on in the region.
Let’s juxtapose this with the level of response and support provided by the west, particularly the high profile involvement of the United States and NATO in the Russo-Ukrainian war, where millions of displaced Ukrainians are being evacuated and provided with food and other essentials in abundance. The latest weaponry and crucial intelligence is supplied and local and foreign volunteers are trained for the war eort. And this well coordinated support continues to be provided for as long as it is required. This is a double standard at its worst.
There is an unocial cessation of hostilities, at least, there is no visible war on the battlefields. However, the siege is still in place and the region is surrounded three hundred degrees by hostile neighbors, where children are still dying from malnutrition, mothers are dying in childbirth and others are dying from hunger and lack of medication. Therefore, the intended genocidal war is being implemented without firing a single shot or without incurring additional human and material costs.
Notwithstanding that the situation is getting worse by the day, the international community still hasn’t done much beyond statements or passing ineectual resolutions. So far, no concrete action, legal or otherwise, has been taken by the relevant UN and regional agencies. Help does not seem to be forthcoming and thus, one wonders for how long is the pendency to continue.? As the adage goes, ‘justice delayed is justice denied’.
The current policy of the Ethiopian Government is to maintain the siege with a view to forcing the Tigrian people into submission. This cynical ‘lock up and kill’ policy is shared and lauded by the diehard chauvinist elite who was and is relentlessly campaigning for the return of the “Menelikan” time.
Some of these self appointed advisors are currently working hard to dissuade the government from participating in the forthcoming peace talk between the federal and the Tigay Governments. Messay Kebede, chauvinist extraordinaire, is , for instance, one of these self appointed experts who are advocating the merits of having a unitary system of government with the aim of bringing their clan back to power, at any cost!
With regards to the ongoing , for lack of a better word, unconscionable government policy in the Tigray region, Messay and his friends are encouraging the federal government to continue with the siege warfare until the Tigray people succumb to the pressure.
In Messay’s words : “……Although siege warfare is time consuming, it lowers the human cost by averting direct confrontation in open battle or house to house search for insurgents. It also forces the civilian population to ask whether continued resistance is worthwhile……” In other words, Messay is encouraging the authorities to continue with the war of attrition and implement their policy of ethinic cleansing with far less human and material costs. These chauvinist megalomaniacs had gone even further, in the past, and pleaded with the then military government to go for all out war and cleanse the Tigrian & Eritrean people with a view to keep the territory ( land without the population) as part of greater Ethiopia.
Some countries, particularly in the west, showed little or no interest in openly coming out against the perpetrators of this egregious act in order not to exacerbate the already fractious political situation in the country. By doing so, maybe they believe they are endeavoring to help the country keep its unity and national integrity. And, maybe the rationale behind their reluctance and/ or caution has some truth, and this may be seen by some as a noble thought that deserves praise. But, the question is unity and national integrity at what cost?
If this is to mean that the ongoing ethinc cleansing and destruction of the region has to continue in order to maintain the unity of a nation that does not treat its citizens on equal terms. Even worse, a nation that invited and deployed foreign forces (mercineries) to kill and maime its own citizens, and a country that has no scruples about raping women and girls and starving its own population to death, then I, for one, beg to dier. With all that in mind, I hope that the international community will wake up from its slumber and encourage the relevant authorities to do the right thing and mitigate this grave situation before it is too late.
Someobservers,myselfincluded,wonderwhy theinternationallawalwaysmoves in slow motion and appears to be toothless when it comes to helping resolving crises in the so-called third world nations. And, by the same token, all International agencies are neither eective nor eager when dealing with crises or resolving problems in those nations.
Finally, if an immediate action is not taken to resolve the ongoing siege the Tigray people and government may , I am afraid, be forced to take the law into their hands, and fight tooth and nail with the enemy and die on the battlefield rather than dying a slow death at home. After all, there is a limit to everything including patience.