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You words is not what hurts but your Silence

Wendwesen Asfaw

  In the world of Abiy Ahmed and Isayas Afeworki, the war in Tigray has reached a decisive stage. They have issued an ultimatum to the effect that, unless the TPLF leadership surrenders within 72 hours, the capital of Tigray, Mekelle, which they claim has been surrounded, will be attacked mercilessly. They also advised the inhabitants of the city to hand over the leaders of the TPLF, or otherwise face the mayhem and destruction that will ensue in the event that they decide to attack the city. Incidentally, this is also what is being reported by international news outlets, such as the BBC and Al Jazeera's. But no serious independent journalist has yet to vouch for the veracity Abiy’s characterization of the reality on the ground since there is a complete communication blackout in Tigray.

  The trickle of information coming out of reliable sources from inside Tigray is utterly at odds with what we are hearing from Abiy Ahmed. While it is true that Abiy and Isayas have deployed dozens of army divisions from both Ethiopia and Eritrea and Amhara Special forces, they are all fighting for their lives as they are facing a stiff and stubborn resistance from the people of Tigray. In the meantime, retreating forces are reportedly committing atrocities the details of which the world will soon know about. Fighter jets are deliberately attacking civilian targets, killing children, expectant mothers, and even university students. Against all odds and in the face of such brutal attacks, though, the people of Tigray are as united as never before to fend off this terrible attack directed against their dignity as a people.

  Those who have conveniently convinced themselves that this war is a war between “Ethiopia” and some elements of the TPLF should understand by now that this war is a war between the people of Tigray and “unitary forces,” mainly Amhara’s, who are salivating, naively, I would say, that the end of the TPLF will mark the end of the Constitution, which guarantees the right of all nations in Ethiopia to self-determination. However, that is just a dream; it is not only the people of Tigray who want self-rule, almost all nations, with the exception of the Amharas, want a genuine federal arrangement. Therefore, even a win in Tigray – which, as I indicated above is rather impossible - will not translate into a political system that Abiy and his foolish allies are hoping for.

  By the way, have you ever wondered who supports this brutal attack against the people of Tigray? I will be blunt here. I spent most of my life in Addis Ababa. I was educated and worked there as a civil servant. I made friends there. I was a Zemach during the Edget Behbret campaign in Gera Woreda in Jimma, where I fell in love with the Oromo people and even tried to learn Oromiffa. (Coincidentally, this is the place where Abiy was born). I always considered myself an Ethiopian and initially had differences with the TPLF. However, I must say that I am now disappointed with the Amhara intellectuals whom I considered friends and are now lending their full support to Abiy’s war, which is now bordering on genocide against the people of Tigray.

  How come there is not even a single voice condemning what the people of Tigray are going through? For all purposes, Tigray has been isolated from the world; there are no phone lines, no Internet services, no electricity, and no access to humanitarian aid. Does anybody in his or her right mind think this is “a law enforcement operation?” Give me a break!! The world has started to take note that this is a collective punishment, which is a war crime under International Humanitarian Law. So, watch out my friends in Addis – you are supporting a war criminal.


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