Ethiopians of Tigrayan descent, residing both inside and outside of Tigray, have contacted this researcher to request greater scrutiny of grassroots Tigrayan opinion on the ongoing conflict in Northern Ethiopia. These “silenced voices” have been characterized by many Western analysts and English-language media as supportive of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), a vanguard armed group that exercises authoritarian control of both the “Tigray government” and the “Tigray Defense Forces.”
A person from Mars who does not know anything about Ethiopian politics can paint three different pictures of PM Abiy, depending on whom she befriends when she lands on earth. If she meets Professor Al Mariam, her conclusion would be people on earth have genius leaders that Martians can learn from. If she meets Professor Meskerem Aberra or any one of the Professors leading Vision Ethiopia, she would conclude people on earth are led by genociders. If by any chance she meets me, her impression of the PM would be a visionary and remarkable strategist with abhorring management skills. There are enough “supporting” materials in the cyber space to paint any one of the three images.
Structural violence is the root cause of the ongoing political crisis in Ethiopia. To understand the full picture of the current crisis, therefore, it is important to fully understand the historical, contextual, sociopolitical, and cultural dynamics of where Ethiopia is heading. Doing so makes it evident that the current debacle stems from the self-proclaimed apartheid constitution that segregate the diverse Ethiopian people along ethnolinguistic lines.
While no one questions the plight and suffering of the Tigrayan population, the displaced northern Afar communities can literally watch aid trucks drive past them and through their region, to hand over aid to the very leaders who are destroying their lives. Humanitarianism should not discriminate across ethnicity. The Afar, shaken by the same lack of basic services as Tigray but, at the same time, suffering grave atrocities, destruction of their assets and displacement from their lands, still wait for their turn – both from national and international institutions – of receiving greater help. Selective outrage is outrageous indeed.
Ethiopians have now been in pain as this war and the destruction it caused continue to linger. And it is very painful for all to watch. Moreover, TPLF’s history of corruption and divisive rule, recent atrocious actions, pro-war rhetoric, and political vision show that what it is attempting is not take over Ethiopia. Because its elites already understand that an Ethiopia that accepts its second coming is nonexistent. But its objective is to dismantle the Ethiopian state as we know it, which in turn takes the Horn of Africa towards unchartered territories of violence, displacements, and even potential war of all against all.
The adoption of unilateral coercive economic measures by the US is a flagrant breach of the fundamental principle of sovereign equality in international law and violates the basic norms of international relations as enshrined in the UN Charter, countless UN General Assembly resolutions, charters of various regional organizations, such as the Charter of the Organization of American States and the Constitutive Act of the African Union, and numerous international treaties, including the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.
No wonder that the late Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, had to go out of the constitution and resort to dictatorial methods to protect his power and prevent the country from falling apart. Equally unsurprising is the fact that the refusal to generate a collective being, a general will by transcending ethnic distinctions turns any officeholder, including the Prime Minister, into a representative of an ethnic group.
In comparison to the Aswad dam, GERD construction began after appropriate site suitability studies, and relevant testing was conducted for its geology and geomorphology, by a reputable engineering firm. Also, the structural or engineering materials with optimal strength to withstand the horizontal hydraulic thrust was selected with the application of the advanced technologies of the 21st century. The whole project is contracted by WeBuild-Salini, a European company, with rich experience in building more than 200 Dams around the world.
The current position taken by the US administration is very dangerous and emboldening the remnants of the terrorist group and further fueling the conflict and the suffering of the people in Northern Ethiopia. It is also promoting unending inter-ethnic conflicts between Tigray and the rest of Ethiopia with devastating and unfathomable consequences for the subregion.
S foreign policy for the Horn has been entirely dominated by TPLF sympathizers who are working for successive US administration at the White House, State Department, and the United Nations. The TPLF led regime had repeatedly used its involvement in the counter terrorism strategy in the Horn of Africa to cheat and cement its importance to the western powers.