The inevitable birth of a new nation Tigray
The situation in Ethiopia is alarming; the whole world is actively watching the developments in the region. The so-called law enforcement operation by the Noble prize winner PM of Ethiopia Abi Ahmed ended up into a full-scale aggressive war. In this war, Africa has seen for the first time a war supported with Drones, missiles and advanced artilleries, airplanes and tanks. The war is not between two nations. it is a war between regional government and the federal government and the extent of the war lead to conclude it is far beyond law reinforcement.
Despite the claim by the federal government the war is to capture certain elements of the TPLF, it does seem it is a war on the people of Tigray. This is based on the actions of the main players on this war, as well as the devastating consequences on the people of Tigray.
The main players of this war in addition to the federal forces , included Eritrean forces led by Isayas Afwerki, Amhara regional government special forces, Amhara militias , Drones from an Arab country and also Somalia forces (not verified by third party).
The participation of all the above players with various self-interests negatively affected Abi Ahmed‘s claim that it was to enforce law in the region, if that was the case, he should handle it differently rather than going to full scale war.
The people of Tigray faced unprecedented suffering from these forces, artilleries bombed cities, infrastructure destroyed, children and mothers wounded and fled to Sudan, exposed to famine and lack of basic needs every were. The most horrific is the massacre of the people, the looting and destruction of their identities, towns, cities etc.
The way the PM handled this operation is worrying if he claims for law reinforce purposes only, there was much better and less costly than this. War exacerbates the grievances of the people putting you far from winning the heart of the people. No matter what you say, the actions speak loud and clear that the words. The cruellest part of this war is inviting Isayas Afwerki for help, who has acute hatred to the Tigray leaders and the Amhara Militias who often are at odds with the Tigray people.
The so-called law enforcement operation does not seem to start as claimed after the skirmish between the Northern Command and the Tigray Special Forces. It was an open secret to see the Eritrean leader and Abi actively working together for the last two years. Many people voiced their concerns for the rapidly evolving situations, and Isayas’s hyperactivities in the region were indicative of what to come. Back in 2018, Isayas Afwerki’s conditionally acceptance of the peace initiative by Abi based on what he said publicly in Sawa “Game over TPLF”. Hence, those who knows Isayas’s behaviour of expected his first mission would be to go after the TPLF. The undisclosed peace agreement between Isayas and Abi in Saudi Arabia, might have two key elements or surprises. The first surprise being the removal of the TPLF and the second one re-marriage of Eritrea to Ethiopia.
One should not be ignorant that this undisclosed agreement between Isayas and Abi in Saudi Arabia, signed in front of the UN Secretary-General António Guterres fueled and aggravated the situation. The only obstacle in front of the implementation of their hidden agenda could be TPLF. TPLF’s presence as a strong regional government in Tigray Ethiopia, its belief on federal arrangement in Ethiopia and its stand on independence of Eritrea, this will throw tats to their agendas.
Since the war started the forces in Tigray under Abi’s leadership caused unimaginable damage to the people of Tigray;
– Killing of people by bombardment of civilians and cities
– Destruction of infrastructure, public institutions
– Blocking all communications
– Lootings and destruction of civilian properties
– Discrimination of in work place such as firing from public service works, federal government jobs, Africa peace keeping mission, from Ethiopia airline because of their ethnicity
– Rounding up and collecting Tigrinya’s and putting them in to concentration camps
– Massacre and displacement of the people fleeing the bombardment and killings
In 1991, the Tigray people under the leadership of TPLF disposed the then dictatorial regime Mengstu Hailemariam. Going back to history, we cannot deny the previous ruling parties in Ethiopia systematically ignored the people of Tigray to face hardships. They faced famine, drought and ignorance and systematically undermined their identity. The result of those cruel treatments by those previous kings, leaders forced the people to look for alternative ways of defending their rights. The people raised arms to fight the injustice, discrimination and to regain their dignity. The TPLF together with others after they disposed the dictatorial regime introduced a federal arrangement for all the different nations in Ethiopia, as they believed this will safe guard all minorities from the possible re-emergence of abusive forces.
Since the start of this a month long war, what came out shining was the name of this regional government Tigray, their resistance and zeal to preserve their rights. Additionally, in contrary to many civil wars, it was the TPLF leadership or the regional government of Tigray who called for peace and dialogue. This puts them in better position in front of many world governments. The actions of the federal government and the approach not to solve it peacefully has put Tigray as a defacto-state already. It is not a surprise from now for many world leaders to entertain the request of the people if they ask their independence. The whole world already is aware of the atrocities happening on this people.
The people of Tigray felt abandoned by many other nationalities in Ethiopia, it is fair to suggest that since many other nationalities got the federal system as a gift. If people did not pay a price to bring change, there is little appetite for them to defend it if snatched off them.
In this war Tigray people were;
– alienated form Ethiopia
– abandoned by various nationalities or regional governments
– majority of Ethiopia’s supported the federal government’s actions
– massacred and looted by other nationalities in Ethiopia’s without any help from other nationalities
If people do not feel safe, secured, if the sense of belonging is lost, it is hard to convince in any way. The Tigray people fought for years to bring a federal system that they believed will safe guard their peacefully and safe existence among other nations of Ethiopia. Despite paying huge price for years, the hatred and revenge from some elements kept coming from time to time. If the Tigray people feel their Ethiopian nationalities while other Ethiopians does not treat them like Ethiopians, it is simply does not make sense. It is wise to seek other options. Now, The Tigray people are facing two critical choices, either to accept a resuscitated federal system with better safe guard mechanisms or leave Ethiopia for good for the birth of a new nation of Tigray.
by Zeria Teklebrhan