(By Abebe Teklehaimanot (M/G) –
On 17 December 2021, the UN Human Rights Council “adopts by vote a resolution establishing an international commission of experts on Ethiopia to conduct an investigation of human rights violations and abuses by all parties to the conflict.” The Ethiopian government has categorically rejected the Council’s decision and said that it would not cooperate. It is not surprising for criminal offenders to refuse independent investigations to atrocities. No criminal is expected to allow access to its closet where it is hiding all the skeletons.
On the other hand, the Tigray State Government (TSG) is responding to all allegations of Summary Execution by Human Rights Watch against Tigray Forces like any responsible government would do: “To the degree that any member within Tigrayan forces may have victimized non-combatants, our heart goes out to the victims of such crimes. If our investigation discovers that Tigrayan fighters have in fact deliberately targeted non-combatants, the Government of Tigray will bring the perpetrators to justice”. It is also to be recalled that TSG was calling for an independent international investigation all along, and now it welcomes the latest UN Human Rights Council’s resolution on establishing an independent investigation commission.
Whether the UN-HRC will implement its resolution is a different matter. Nonetheless, international experts need to comprehend the context of the environments, i.e., backgrounds and settings within the Ethiopian and Eritrean Governments, TSG, OLA, and Amhara forces to separate truth from lies and render justice to the victims. This paper tries to discuss very few exemplary (not exhaustive) cases of the Federal Government’s general ethos, attitudes, practices, etc. The piece extends inference that one should expect piles of fabricated, contaminated, and drama-like evidence in Amhara, Afar, and Oromia regions because these very distinct characteristics of the ruling elite. They will go to any length to implicate TDF or OLA in all the unrelated atrocities. They have started it!! National television reported that eleven industries were “demolished” in Kombolicha by TDF.
However, after two weeks all the industries become operative. One can imagine how the Prosperity group are outrageous liars and will continue accordingly.
Plagiarism begins with the name and emblem. The creator and president of the party and many authorities are members of the Prosperity Gospel Church. When shown for the first time, somebody I don’t remember tweeted that the logo of the new Ethiopian party is similar to the logo of Boston Prosperity Gospel Church. So, I Googled it and got that it was a matching copy except that the Amharic and English phrases indicate a party symbol. Compare it for yourself.
As if to follow and outdo the Nazism path, the Ethiopian Prosperity Party had to choose a particular religious symbol. The German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann speculated that the Swastika was a significant religious symbol of remote ancestors1. Mind that Ethiopia is a country where more than 75% are Ethiopian Orthodox and Muslims2. The ruling party has to copy a symbol from a minority faith (a smaller version of that faith at that) without acknowledgment or attribution. And then they imposed it on the party and all-party members. Nobody knows how many of the 22% Protestants belong to the Prosperity Gospel followers.
Zelalem Kibret, in his writing “Charlatan or Reckless” convincingly asserts that Abiy reproduced almost everything he said as his own words, in an interview. All those utterances were sourced elsewhere, from different world-known personalities. Even Abiy’s definition of Medemer during his Nobel Peace Prize lecture is a familiar political catchphrase that President Donald J Trump used in his State of Union address.
The Prosperity cluster is a force of chaos within the anti-multinational federation and anti-Tigray coalition. At the center of the anti-human rights group is the ruling Prosperity party. The group is a loose association of political parties, business and intellectuals’ elites who want to control the resources of the peoples of Ethiopia from the center with branches everywhere. They have opposed the multi-national federation. As amorphous as its composition, the “Party” that never has had organizational congress before its registration is as ‘confused as the gurus’.
They claim that it is one party, but the two main branches, i.e., the Oromo Prosperity Party (OPP) and the Amhara Prosperity Party (APP), are as far apart as two ideologically different parties. At least on the surface, the OPP claims to follow the existing constitutional system while A-PP asserts that it is anti-Amhara establishment. According to the recording of the OPP leader, “Politics is all about doing tricks, nothing else,” the “confusion syndrome.” Nevertheless, both entities seem to have agreed on common enemies and, in their cooperation, to sustain their stay in power. From its inception, the party is fictitious. The Somali branch refused to join it, but after two days of “convincing,” it agreed to join them. Mulubrhan Balehegn wants to show us how Abiy displayed delusional grandeur when he shared, “…aired his prediction that Ethiopia will be one of two great superpowers in the world by 2050″. A lie big enough to match that grandeur that he has convinced himself to be true.
It all started with this drama: an assassination attempt on the Prime Minister that appeared to be stage- managed by hindsight becomes the first indication of the reigning principle of the new leader. Shortly after the blast, Abiy, in a televised speech, told the Ethiopian people that the attempt against his life was a “well- orchestrated attack by professionals” before doing any initial investigation. It was meant to implicate former security forces from Tigray. Abiy brought the FBI to help him investigate the organizers behind the scene.
Whatever the result might have been, it didn’t make it to be part of the lawsuit. Why? The defendants’ trial process showed how deceptive and fabricated the allegations were.
The tragic story of “suicide” of Engineer Simegnew of Renaissance Dam, GERD’s chief coordinator followed two months later. Abiy dishonored that national hero the moment he was breaking the news of his death when he described him as random citizen using indifferent phrases: “an engineer has died.” Simegnew is an icon whose untimely death had shocked the entire country. Simegnew had earlier given an interview that contradicts the new leaders’ narration about the dam. The investigation towards the circumstances of his death, appear to be clumsy, inconsistent, and ambiguous. The explanations given by the officials on national media were less than satisfactory and below standards. Did the hero kill himself? It remains unanswered to date.
The assassination of the celebrated Oromo artist and nationalist Hachalu Hundessa was even more puzzling and consequential. What happened later after his death and the benefits harvested from his death might hint well into the identity and motives of his killers. The government went heavy handed on changing the balance of forces in Oromia and consequently in Ethiopia.
The Prosecutor General implicated certain persons of Oromo origin. She also found it necessary to mention Tigrigna speakers as partnering with them for the crime when she said, “there were some Tigrigna speaking suspects” behind the scene only a few hours after Hachalu was assassinated. Against all procedures and the rights of the accused, they just rushed to implicate OLA (Shane) and the TPLF without even conducting rudimentary investigations. This incendiary propaganda was conducted despite Hachalu’s interview telling who his attackers could be. Using the disturbances as pretext, government security arrested prominent leaders and tens of thousands of youths of Oromo origin. Security forces were around when many Amhara were murdered, and their properties were looted in some parts of Oromia after the assassination.
It is mind-boggling to hear the mayor of Shashmene’s witness testimony in the court, saying that “he repeatedly called the President of Oromia about the bloodshed only to be told to shut up and go to sleep.” Many Oromos believe that Hachalu was murdered because he fiercely criticized Emperor Menelik II- the principal architect of the modern Ethiopian Empire. The government killed Hachalu for political views and with a mind to use him as sacrificial pretext to go after political opponents from the Oromo leaders, defuse the Querro movement while sowing seeds of fear among Amharas in Oromia. Later in the trial, the blurred role of OLA and TPLF and the so called “Tigrigna speakers behind” narrative disappeared in to thin air.
However, Prosperity Party Oromia branch spokesman Taye Dendea said the TPLF funded and worked with Jawar and OLF-Shane to plan Hachalu’s killing and prepare destruction in Batu and other towns providing flammable items and organizing mobs. “The plan in agreement with TPLF was to cause religious and ethnic violence, which would lead to a security collapse. TPLF wants to disintegrate Ethiopia. They promised Jawar to put him in power. Once there is a security breakdown, genocide starts, the fire cannot be stopped, and it would be over for Ethiopia. Statelessness would be a paradise for TPLF,” he told Ethiopia Insight. TPLF officials have dismissed all similar allegations as baseless, as have the OLF and Jawar.
The attempt on the prime minister’s life, the killing of the Oromo nationalist Hachalu, and the real massacres wherever were being attributed to the TPLF to create mistrust and hatred between nations and nationalities and the Tigray people. Therefore, particular attention should be given to the continuous propaganda to wedge enmity among the Amhara and the Tigray peoples.
Drama like Coup D’état
The president and some of his colleagues of the Regional State of Amhara were murdered. The alleged mastermind of the slaughter, B/General (retired) Asaminew, was killed in dubious circumstances. We are told that an attempt of change of government was conducted by militia and “special forces” (not military unit) in the presence of substantial federal military forces in the city and yet they were not involved in the coup d’état. The federal government did not take time before announcing that it was a coup d’état.
In the fateful evening, the then Chief of Staff, General Saere, and his colleague M/ General (Retired) Gezae were murdered in a cold-blooded manner. We were told that the Chief of Staff was commanding his forces from his home and killed by his bodyguard. Why did the Federal government label the Bahir Dar accidents with no military participation a coup? There was much conflicting information about the killer’s state of mind, status and statements. Why? The way the trial of the alleged assassin was conducted was disgraceful. It is despicably painful to think that way but reasonable to think that General Saere (being a Tigrayan) was killed as part of the preparation for what followed later, namely: war against Tigray?
Abiy’s unforced error of lie might speak volumes into his bloody hands with the murder of General Seare. Why did Abiy lie to prove he was “innocent” in the Bahir Dar killings? B/General Asaminew was freed from prison during former Prime Minister Hailmariam Dessalegn period. But Abiy Ahmed lied on record publicly in a meeting held in Dubai when he bragged, he freed General Asaminew from jail. What was the role of Abiy in the Bahirdar assassinations might have perished with death of B/General Asaminew?
A Coup d’état Crushed by “push-ups”
We were told that tens of soldiers with red beret marched to and entered the palace to change the government. The story from his side goes like this: the Prime minister defused the situation by doing “pushups” with the soldiers and saved the day. The national television broadcasted the work out exercise led by Abiy to immediately calm down the problem. Later on, the head of government brought another line where Prime Minister was telling his parliament that had it not been for his wise intervention, the Oromo in the surrounding areas would flood to Addis to defend their own government. Anyone can be puzzled by the drama on the screen but could also be shocked by the assertion of traipsing to protect him, given the time it took him to stop the “rebellion”. Was there an actual coup d’état attempt for real?
The Cheater as a Peace Laureate
The so called “Peace Agreement” that was signed between Abiy Ahmed and Isaias Afeworki was in reality a war pact. The 2019 Nobel Peace Prize was bestowed to Abiy “for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, particularly for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighboring Eritrea.” For whatever reason the Noble Committee provided Abiy, it was a profoundly needed as a cover a ‘war-deal.’, as Yosef Ghebrehiwot describes it in the article “The ‘peace’ that delivered total war against Tigray”
The prosperity group deceived the people of Ethiopia and the world, claiming that the agreement with Eritrea was about Peace. However, the peoples of Ethiopia were led to a devastating war that balkanized their country. The “Peace initiative” ignored all the peoples of Ethiopia and their institutions and completely disregarded the neighboring people of Tigray. In fact, the hate speech between the two peoples were elevated. The President of Eritrea declared ‘game over,’ which meant revenge against the peoples of Tigray. As far as Tigray is concerned, the statement from Isaias Afwerki was not peace but war. The new leaders in Addis Ababa applauded the new deal that bypasses Tigray (which has the longest border with that country) in all dealings and more into appeasing Isaias Afeworki. War against Tigray was fermenting since the agreement and continued in all aspects of political warfare (all kinds of psychological, economic, etc., action was conducted before the military clashes began.) to coerce the people of Tigray to kneel for their demolition
Preparation for War (to mention few)
The prosperity Narrative wants us to believe the war begun with the military clashes in the early hours o4 November 4, 2020. The political setting for war was grounded when the 27 years of EPRDF rule was labeled as years of “darkness” within months of the election of the Prime Minister, denying all achievements made during that period. All human rights abuses were attributed to Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) leaders only, exonerating other leaders of EPRDF, including the former and current Prime Ministers. In the last three years, the intensive propaganda and actions were conducted in the backdrop of the malicious campaigns of the defeated Dergists, especially those in the diaspora, of “domination of the people of Tigray” over others since 1991. The ‘domination of the TPLF,’ whatever it may mean is, categorically different from the values and interests of the peoples of Tigray. The political warfare, i.e., economic, psychological, propaganda, profiling etc. continued un abated until the military clashes and after.
The mouse pieces of the new dictators ESAT and other media outlets laid down the prerequisite for genocide when they declared war on the peoples of Tigray with the dictum “95 million to 5 million”. It was evident that the Eritrean and Ethiopian governments were conspiring to wedge war against the Tigray people. It started with a political narrative “it is just to invite Eritrea to accompany the Ethiopian government offensive against the TPLF.”
In his speech in Bale Roba, Oromia, the Prime minister, way back a year before November 2020, indicated what he would do with the TPLF. In that speech the hate fervor clearly displayed. He said to a crowd that he is paying back the TPLF in kind cornering them in one place unable to move anywhere unless he allows them. Abiy, in his televised address in April 2020, asserted that he would take action if what he called an illegal election would be conducted in Tigray. In an interview, a former high official of the Provisional Tigray Prosperity Party (PTPG) asserts the preparation for war and what it takes to conclude i . According to him, in a meeting with higher officials of (PTPG) two weeks before the military clashes, the Commander-in-Chief postured that it took him a day to deal with the former governor of the Somali Region. Therefore, it might take him five days to topple the TPLF.
As for the background of the war in Ethiopia, the New York Timespublished o15 December 2021 an article titled “The Nobel Peace Prize that Paved the way for war” by Declan Walsh spells it out al . The report asserts that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was planning for war against Tigray with the collaboration of President Afewerki in Eritrea well before the TPLF attacked the northern command headquarters in Mekelle o3 November 2020: “Amhara police commissioners’ and Generals boastful testimony reveals that they had done all and complete preparations for the military attack and made connections and joint plans with some units of the northern command.”
Lies and Deceptions, Institutionalized
Abiy lied to the UN Secretary-General to his face. He told him in certain terms that there was no Eritrean army in Tigray. It took him to admit their presence a few weeks but then accompanied it with another lie that they would leave Ethiopia soon. However, they are still in some parts of Tigray and involved in Amhara and Afar regions.
Abiy and his lieutenant Demeke and co. try to deceive the Ethiopian people by making speeches and practices that fit the national group they address at particular time. Those are often contradicted by other utterances and events they conduct addressing other groups or nations within Ethiopia. Demeke and the current generals on duty used to applause 25 years of EPRDF rule as a wonderful success in all aspects, only to reverse it and call it 27 years of darkness late . They would always say that “they are short of words to describe the role of Tegaru and the TPLF.” Abiy himself praised Tigray as the very engine of Ethiopia, and Mekelle as the northern Star, and the former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi as a champion of public cause, in his speech in Tigrigna. But after two years, he led a genocidal war against the same people of Tigray, and boasted of destroying Mekelle to ruin it to the level of his home town Beshasha, and stripped Meles’ name from the Academy that was named after him. Similarly, Demeke applauded Tigray’s people TPLF and Meles in his speech in Bahir Dar.
The Federal government promised to chase away the Amhara forces from occupied Welkait, Tsegede, and Raya once TPLF was defeated. However, it was not meant to be even after TPLF was crushed and turned in to ashes, according to a former official of the then Provisional Government of Tigray.
Getu Teressa asserts that “Many academics who read both the Amharic and Afaan Oromo versions of Medemer testify that Abiy even tailored the content or message of the book to appeal and appease the respective linguistic audience.
Abiy once claimed that Haramaya Lake in South-eastern Ethiopia, which dried years ago, returned because of the seedlings he sponsored to plant a year ago. The announcement of discovering a cure for Covid-19 was a supercilious lying challenging to comprehend, though it is a norm in the Prosperity Group. Nevertheless, the Minister of Higher Education and Innovation (now promoted to the Ministry of Defense) and the Minister of Health presided over and declared it on national television. It was ridiculous then, but there was no apology after thousands of losses due to inadequate vaccination or the promised new “discovery.”
When Abiy Ahmed was pressed for his gross violations of human rights and atrocities on the people of Tigray, he reverted to his usual trademark of deception to become a champion of Pan-Africanism as if human rights are not African values and Tigrayans are not African. Pan Africanis should be about the respect of the people of Africa, not its dictator. But, unfortunately, African institutions like IGAD and African Union and African leaders were excluded entirely from the “peace” process with Eritrea making the Gulf countries central player. In addition, countries like Sudan and Djibouti, which were directly affected by the agreement were deliberately left out of the process.
Saudi Arabia initially facilitated the peace process resulting in the Jeddah Peace Accord. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres described the signing as a “historic event.” “I want to express my deep appreciation to the role played by His Majesty the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques (King Salman) and by the government of Saudi Arabia for facilitating this agreement and contributing to bring together the parties,” he said. As if to insult Africa and Africans, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, as chairman of AU at the time, was disinvited from the Peace Accord event.
The Ethiopian PM has many foul utterances belittling African Americans portraying them with wordings of inferiority. It is very racist or political opportunism to lull the extreme Ethiopianism for an Ethiopian Prime Minister to say that African Americans have caused their suffering after the civil rights movements because they were backward-looking. Though Jews were also discriminated against in America, the extent and the dehumanization scope are not equated. A government conducts a genocidal war on its people, which excluded Africans from the most “important” “peace” dealing and blames African Americans for their victimization doesn’t have the moral ground to raise pan-Africanis. The prosperity group is proud at home to degrade Africans in Amharic and to raise the slogan of Pan-Africanism in English To aggrandize the current Prime Minister, national television broadcast the mayor of a major city saying that Abiy has an IQ not made for Africa.
Genocidal Intent and Practice of the Prosperity Group
As is more or less known, Prosperity Group intentionally refuses for food aid to reach the people in a famine situation. Instead, food is being used as an instrument of warfare. When asked by a BBC journalist about the famine of Tigray and food aid being blocked on the last summer Election Day, the Prime Minister’s reply was, “there is no hunger in Tigray, and there is only a problem.” It is well established that denial is an integral component of genocide in action.
Tigray atrocities meet all the ten stages of Genocide Extended gang-raping girls and women of all ages, mass killings, mass arrests, and placing them in concentration camps for Tegaru outside Tigray, destroying infrastructures and factories of all sizes, looting and burning civilians’ properties, stealing antiques, and destroying religious and cultural centers. In practice and intentional policy, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, crime against humanity have mesmerized to Genocide.
How would the fabricated, consolidated, and contaminated report look?
International experts should also consider how the nature of war changed alongside the imitative, deceptive, and institutional lies of the Prosperity Government discussed above.
The war evolved into combatant vis a vis civilian. The federal government openly admitted that it could not match and engage the Tigray Army with Ethiopian National Defense Forces and called civilians untrained and unarmed to join the war. In such scenarios, human waves become the mode of battle employment, and civilians become cannon fodder. To add salt to the injury, units were deployed behind front lines to force fleeing civilians and combatants back to the front, and the death toll became unimaginable in the process.
It is also crucial for the experts to grasp that the Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRC) is a colored weapon of Genocide.
National television reported that eleven industries were “demolished” in Kombolicha by TDF. However, after two weeks all the industries become operative. One can imagine how the Prosperity group are outrageous liars and will continue accordingly.
As the saying goes, perpetrators of genocide play victims of genocide. As a replica to what they did may announce “evidence” by; Forced, bribed, or deceived:
- Dozen girls and women may play fake witnesses to be perceived as victims of gang rape as an instrument of war,
- Families of civilians who died in war fronts may falsely testify of mass killings,
- Priests and Sheiks may attest destruction of Churches and Mosques deliberately conducted by TDF or OLA forces Fabricated and hyper fake pictures, data, and groundless assertions,
- Destruction infrastructures and industries of all size,
- Looting and burning properties of civilians,
- Damaging and ransacking hospitals, food stores, etc.,
- Stealing antiques and destroying religious and cultural centers,
- Suppression of Evidence,
- Collateral damages,
- Vandalized properties by Fano and reckless people staged as done by TDF,
- Killings by ENDF, Amhara special forces, and Fano
Real victims of war have to be heard and compensated. Perpetrators and their leaders should face justice However, sham evidence could be derision to the real victims and create another group of prey. Where the modus -operandi is deception, imitation, and institutional lies, special attention should be taken to analyze the total environment and primarily engage the population by different means. There is a need to create a free atmosphere along with other investigation techniques so that the people of Kombolicha, Dessie, etc., and other places which were occupied by TDF would speak freely without fear and under zero influence about the atrocities and destructions and who the suspected criminals were.
Read or download the full article in PDF format: The Ethiopian Government Fabricated, Contaminated, and Drama like “Evidence”
1 Holocaust Encyclopedia, Encyclopedia.ushmm.org
2 Ethiopian Orthodox 43.8%, Muslim 31.3%, Protestant 22.8%, Catholic 0.7%, traditional 0.6%, other 0.8% (2016 est.) World Fact book, https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/countries/ethiopia/