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Posts Tagged ‘Alex de Waal’

Ethiopia Tigray Crisis: Warnings of Genocide & Famine

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on May 29, 2021

👉 ገብርኤል 👉 ማርያም 👉 ኡራኤል 👉 ጊዮርጊስ 👉 ተክለ ሐይማኖት 👉 ዮሴፍ 👉 መድኃኔ ዓለም

👉 Why Ethiopia Genocide Debate May be A Distraction

The patriarch of Ethiopia’s Orthodox Church recently ignited controversy when he said that genocide was being committed in the northern Tigray region.

His Holiness Abuna Mathias – an ethnic Tigrayan himself – explained that since the outbreak of conflict in November between the Ethiopian military and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), his “mouth had been sealed, unable to speak from fear”.

Abuna Mathias‘ emotional statement resonated with many Tigrayans, who are deeply traumatized by the violence in their region. More than two million people have been displaced in the conflict.

Through protests in capitals around the world and via social media, members of the diaspora have united to campaign against what they insist is genocide.

The Ethiopian government rejects reports of mass atrocities as exaggerated and politically motivated. Breaking with the traditional hierarchy of the Ethiopian church, the Orthodox Synod distanced itself from the patriarch’s statement.

In popular parlance, genocide is the crime of crimes – the very worst on the books. It evokes a special outrage – campaigners against genocide call for exceptional international responses, including military intervention, to stop it.

The term was invented by Rafael Lemkin, a Polish lawyer of Jewish descent, to describe the uniquely terrible crimes perpetrated by the Nazis against entire peoples.

It won a special place in the international statute books when the United Nations formalized the Genocide Convention in 1948.

Hate speech

In the trials of high-ranking Nazi officials at Nuremberg, prosecutors had brought charges of crimes against humanity – defined as widespread and systematic violations perpetrated by a state or a state-like entity.

Genocide is a different kind of crime, defined by the perpetrator’s intent: “to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such.”

Until now, human rights organizations have said that crimes against humanity may have been committed in Tigray. That may change.

Some Ethiopian media have expressed ethnic animosity towards Tigrayans, with derogatory language used indiscriminately to tar all Tigrayans with the alleged misdeeds of the TPLF, which was in power at a federal level for more than 25 years and had a bitter fall-out with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed after he took office in 2018, resulting in the conflict in its stronghold of Tigray.

Dehumanizing words such as “daylight hyenas” and “unfamiliar others” are used to foment hatred.

There are reports of ethnically selective purges of Tigrayans from government employment and the army, and restrictions on their travel, businesses and residence.

These violations aren’t in themselves as heinous as murder, rape, or starvation but they would be important to building a case for genocide.

There have also been numerous reports of mass killings in Tigray, by all sides.

The definitive determination of whether it is genocide would be a guilty verdict in the trial of a high-level perpetrator – preferably in the International Criminal Court (ICC).

But for the ICC to take on a case would require a decision by the UN Security Council, which is highly unlikely given African suspicions of the court and the objections of China and Russia.

Ex-Ethiopian leader convicted of genocide

Another possibility is the prosecution of an Ethiopian who is dual national of another country – perhaps for statements in the media that could be taken as incitement. Or there could be an arrest warrant issued by a magistrate by a state that has universal jurisdiction, such as France or Belgium.

Ethiopia has itself previously prosecuted genocide. Its 1957 penal code prohibits genocide with an important variation – it includes “political groups” among those protected.

This is a legal curiosity that arose because Ethiopia used one of Lemkin’s early drafts for the UN Convention, before the Soviet Union insisted that targeting political groups shouldn’t be included.

Lemkin himself was particularly concerned with food deprivation as a tool of genocide.

In his book Axis Rule he devoted more space and attention to Nazi policies of limiting food rations to starvation levels than to gas chambers and killing squads.

The term “starvation crimes”, coined by Bridget Conley, is becoming common usage for the varieties of ways in which hunger is used as a weapon of war, oppression and punishment.

The UN, US and UK have all warned this week of an impending large-scale famine in Tigray. The dire situation is the result of “starvation crimes” including pillage, forced displacement, destruction of food, water and health facilities, widespread rape that prevents survivors from caring for themselves and their children, and obstruction of humanitarian aid.

Thirty years ago, when Ethiopia set up a Special Prosecutor’s Office to try officials of the ousted military regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam, it was decided to use genocide charges for political killings.

The main focus was the “Red Terror” of 1977-78 when the regime murdered tens of thousands of young people for their real or suspected political alignments.

Mengistu was convicted in absentia for genocide on this basis in 2007 – 40 years after his most egregious crimes.

Campaigners don’t want to wait until judges hand down a verdict. When proof of genocide is finally forthcoming it is by definition too late to prevent it.

To get around the problem, activists and diplomats have coined new words to describe patterns of ethnically targeted atrocities.

As Yugoslavia broke apart in the early 1990s, the term “ethnic cleansing” was coined.

This isn’t codified in law – and acts such as targeted killings and rapes and forced displacement that make up ethnic cleansing aren’t distinct from the actions that could constitute genocide.

An internal US state department report referred to “ethnic cleansing” in western Tigray earlier this year.

Ten years after the Yugoslav war, the former US special envoy for war crimes, David Scheffer, introduced the term “atrocity crimes” to try to short-circuit what he saw as fruitless legal debates on what counted as genocide.

He argued that “governments and international organizations… should not be constrained from acting by the necessity of a prior legal finding that the crime of genocide in fact has occurred or is occurring”.

There’s also a grey area of localized, ethnically targeted violence. This kind of conflict is rife across Ethiopia, involving many different communities.

There are contested boundaries between ethnically defined regions and disputes over the status of minorities within regions dominated by another group.

Violence of this kind has recently increased, with ethnic Oromos, Amharas, Somalis and Gumuz, among those swapping accusations of atrocities.

Spokespeople for these groups commonly portray themselves as victims of genocide.

Crying “genocide” sounds the alarm but doesn’t spell out a clear course of action.

The peril of a singular focus on “genocide” is illustrated by the international campaign against atrocities in Darfur in 2004.

Activists focused on calling the atrocities genocide: they assumed that once their governments designated it as such, they would be required to send troops.

One protester’s sign at a Washington DC rally read: “Out of Iraq, Into Darfur!”

In fact there’s no such obligation. An inquiry sponsored by the US state department did indeed find that the Sudanese army and associated Janjaweed militia had committed acts of genocide.

Then-US Secretary of State Colin Powell accepted the report, but said that this finding did not change US policy, which prioritized humanitarian aid, a peacekeeping mission, and a peace agreement.

Bruising genocide debates

In Darfur, the debate over whether the atrocities were or weren’t genocide became a distraction from dealing with what actually could be done to stop the atrocities.

The US designation of “genocide” was purely symbolic, and when the UN’s International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur stopped short of calling it a genocide, the Sudanese foreign ministry trumpeted a victory, overlooking the inquiry’s careful wording that “crimes no less serious and heinous than genocide” had been committed.

The prosecutor of the ICC later issued an arrest warrant against President Omar al-Bashir, which included charges of genocide. Bashir was imprisoned by the Sudanese authorities two years ago after he was overthrown, but he hasn’t been handed to the ICC.

The trial of a militia leader, Ali Abdel Rahman “Kushayb” opened on 24 May at the ICC on 31 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes – but not genocide, which lawyers suspect will be very hard to prove.

If Bashir does face trial at the ICC, prosecutors will also have to weigh whether to proceed with genocide charges.

Today’s senior officials in Washington DC include veterans of those bruising debates from Yugoslavia to Darfur.

At Thursday’s hearing of the US Senate foreign relations committee, Tigray was compared to Darfur.

At the hearing, a state department official said they were considering financial sanctions against Ethiopian officials allegedly responsible for failing to stop atrocities in Tigray.

The state department also said that a legal team was investigating whether the atrocities amounted to crimes against humanity.

But there’s little appetite for considering whether it is genocide, fearing it will inflame emotions that would impede, not facilitate, solutions.



Posted in Ethiopia, News/ዜና, War & Crisis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

It’s Time For Africa to Take a Stance Against Ethiopia’s Crimes

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on May 28, 2021

Alex de Waal

Under the banner of national sovereignty, Ethiopia is subverting Africa’s hard-won norms, principles and institutions.

Ethiopia is bringing Africa into disrepute and Africans should be outraged.

Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers are killing and raping civilians in Tigray. Millions are facing starvation while the authorities choke off essential relief supplies. The European Union and the United States called for an end to the atrocities and access for humanitarian agencies. Addis Ababa’s defence is that national sovereignty protects its right to do these things.

On Sunday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced sanctions against Ethiopian officials held responsible for the violence and starvation. Thus far, these are just visa restrictions, alongside a suspension of most development and security assistance.

In response, Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs put out a statement: “The attempt by the US administration to meddle in its [Ethiopia’s] internal affairs, is not only inappropriate but also completely unacceptable. Ethiopia should not be told how to run and manage its internal affairs.”

Some Africans appear to take at face value this appeal to African solidarity in the face of external diktat. That’s a mistake.

Under the banner of national sovereignty, Ethiopia is subverting Africa’s own hard-won norms, principles and institutions.

The same argument was trotted out in the 1970s and 1980s when African dictatorships used “sovereignty” as a shield behind which to oppress and exploit their people with impunity. At that time, the Organisation of African Unity stood up for untrammelled sovereign rights. Its reasoning was that the independence of African countries wasn’t secure: Apartheid South Africa, along with outgoing colonial powers and their mercenaries wanted to destabilise and divide African countries. That spelled African silence over Eritrea’s long struggle for independence – an inattention that undermined peace and stability in the region. There was also a growing chorus of dissent criticising the OAU’s whitewashing of military coups, massacres and man-made famines. It was “a trade union of heads of state,” in the words of Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere.

The refugee crisis was the biggest symptom of African governments’ loss of legitimacy in the eyes of their citizens: millions fled their misgoverned countries. Western nations paid the humanitarian aid bills and began to speak about intervening themselves – and actually did so in Somalia in 1992.

The turning point came in April 1994. That month saw the accomplishment of the OAU’s historic mission, when Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa following that country’s first ever democratic non-racial elections. It also saw the genocide in Rwanda, perpetrated without anything more than symbolic hand-wringing in Africa and globally. With the liberation of South Africa, the main justification for the deployment of unfettered sovereignty was gone, while Rwanda showed the bankruptcy of that doctrine.

Africans led the way in formulating new principles. The Sudanese scholar and diplomat Francis Deng developed the notion of “sovereignty as responsibility”: a government’s sovereign privileges extend only as far as it exercises its responsibility for the rights and welfare of its citizens. The OAU set up an International Panel of Eminent Personalities to examine the Rwanda crisis, which coined the “principle of non-indifference”: Africans should not stand by while one of their governments commits mass atrocities. In due course, this became enshrined in the Constitutive Act of the African Union, drafted in 2000 and adopted when the African Union formally took over from the OAU at a summit in Durban, South Africa, two years later. Article 4(h) provides for intervention in the case of “grave circumstances”, defined as war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide.

These African initiatives were forerunners of the “responsibility to protect”, or R2P, adopted at the United Nations in 2001. Over the years, especially after R2P was invoked by NATO countries for regime change in Libya, many Africans came to see it as imperialism in philanthropic disguise.

By contrast, the African doctrine of non-indifference was crafted in the spirit of pan-Africanism. The vision of Kwame Nkrumah, the Pan-Africanist who led Ghana to independence in 1957, was that Africans are a single people whose struggle for freedom is one and the same. Sovereignty resides with the people, and is shared across the continent.

African peacemaking practice developed the duty to offer good offices for conflict resolution – along with an obligation of the country in conflict to accept them. African diplomats are proactive in peacemaking. It is now standard for the AU and African regional economic communities to respond to a crisis within days. When civil war broke out in South Sudan in December 2013, the foreign ministers of neighbouring countries flew to Juba within a week to press for a ceasefire. Compare that to the first civil war in Sudan (1955-72) when it took 16 years for an international peace effort and the second civil war (1983-2005) when it took eight years.

These peace efforts don’t always work, but it’s surely better than the alternative of allowing conflicts to rage on and escalate. For example, when a border war broke out between South Sudan and Sudan in April 2012, prompt action by the AU Peace and Security Council set out a road map for resolving the conflict. At that time the UN Security Council was deadlocked on almost every issue, but the US, China and Russia all deferred to the African position and adopted the PSC’s formula, word-for-word, in a Security Council resolution.

By comparison, United Nations envoys to Syria and Yemen were frustrated by the absence of a regional mechanism that could have established principles to contain those wars.

Ethiopia’s war in Tigray is a typical civil war: a political dispute that turned violent and became internationalised with Eritrean intervention. The best chance of containing the war was at the beginning before it escalated out of control. African leaders knew this instinctively. Within weeks of the outbreak of fighting in early November, the AU dispatched a team of three former heads of state as special envoys.

But Ethiopia did not play by Africa’s rules. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed rebuffed the AU, making sure that the Peace and Security Council – where Ethiopia sits as a member – did not discuss his war. In fact, he insisted it was only a “law enforcement operation”.

Abiy appears to be following the playbook of his coalition partner in the war in Tigray, Eritrean president Isaias Afwerki, that there should be no constraint on power. Afwerki has defied Africa and the world for decades with a dictatorship without constitution or rule of law. And Eritrea is Africa’s largest generator of refugees relative to its size.

With the AU impotent, Ethiopia’s crisis has gone to the United Nations. But the three African non-permanent members of the UN Security Council – Kenya, Niger and Tunisia – have not spoken out against the war or atrocities. Even when Ireland raised the situation in Ethiopia under the relatively uncontroversial resolution 2417 on armed conflict and hunger, the African representatives wavered. This opened the door for China and Russia to threaten to veto any resolution.

That’s Abiy’s strategy: his government’s statements about “foreign meddling” and “US imperialism” are aimed at winning over China and Russia. Those countries may step in and support him – but for their own interests, not Africa’s. Abiy has shown no regard for Africa and its wisdom. On the opening day of the AU’s February summit, Abiy published an article entitled Towards a peaceful order in the Horn of Africa. He didn’t once mention the AU or Africa’s norms, principles and institutions for peace.

Abiy’s appeal to sovereign impunity is having the exact opposite of its stated goal. Ethiopia faces a catastrophic famine and national crisis – and becoming a cockpit for global rivalries.

Africans should not stand for this. They must stand firm on Africa’s principles: sovereignty entails responsibility, unreserved condemnation of atrocities and starvation crimes, immediate negotiation among the belligerents for a political solution. Or Africa cannot complain if Europeans and Americans take those principles more seriously than they do.



Posted in Ethiopia, Infos, War & Crisis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The World Bank Should not Fund Ethiopia’s Self-destruction & It’s War in Tigray

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on April 12, 2021

👉 የዓለም ባንክ የኢትዮጵያን የራስጥፋት እና ለትግራይ ጦርነት የገንዘብ ድጋፍ ማድረግ የለበትም

👉 የመረጃ መቋረጥ ቢኖርም የጅምላ ጭፍጨፋዎች መረጃዎች ወደ ብርሃን እየወጡ ነው፡፡የቤልጅየም የዩኒቨርሲቲ ቡድን ከ ፻፶/ 150 በላይ የጅምላ ጭፍጨፋዎችን አስመዝግቧል።😢😢😢

The Financial Times

This month, Ethiopia, a low-income country facing economic difficulties, is making its case for a financial bailout at the spring meetings of the World Bank and IMF.

It is also conducting a war of starvation in the northern Tigray region. Week by week soldiers are destroying everything essential to sustain life — food and farms, clinics and hospitals, water supplies.

How should the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development treat a government engaged in widespread and systematic destruction and impoverishment, not to mention killing and rape? Bank staff don’t like to make political judgments, but in this case the directors — representing the shareholders including the US and UK — cannot shirk their obligation to acknowledge the political realities in Ethiopia.

Despite an information blackout, evidence of mass atrocities is coming to light. A Belgian university group has documented more than 150 massacres. Health workers are treating hundreds of victims of rape. The aid group Médecins Sans Frontières says that 70 per cent of health facilities have been ransacked and vandalised. The US State Department reports that militia from the Amhara region have ethnically cleansed the western part of Tigray. The huge army of neighbouring Eritrea has rampaged through the region — invited in by Ethiopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed.

On April 6, the World Peace Foundation published evidence that a tripartite coalition of the Ethiopian and Eritrean armies plus Amhara militia is using starvation as a weapon of war. Before the outbreak of conflict in November, Tigray was largely free from hunger. Today, three-quarters of its 5.7m people need emergency aid. Just over 1m are receiving support — but it is routinely stolen by soldiers after it is distributed. We can expect death rates from hunger already to be rising.

The scorched earth campaign is undoing decades of development. Fruit orchards have been cut down and industries employing tens of thousands have been looted. Hotels that once hosted tourists visiting Tigray’s historic obelisks and cave churches have been stripped bare. Fertile lands in the western lowlands have been annexed by the Amhara region and Tigrayans expelled.

This looks like a concerted plan to reduce Tigray to poverty and leave its people dependent on food handouts. Regardless of who started the war and why, these actions go far beyond legitimate war aims. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has promised to investigate allegations of war crimes.

Alongside the human rights violations, donors will assess the reconstruction needs and compile an inventory of stolen or vandalised assets. On the list will be schools, clinics, water supply systems and university research departments, among other things — many of them paid for by multilateral agencies and governments. Who will foot the bill for rebuilding? At a time of straitened aid budgets, taxpayers in donor countries will balk at paying a second time around. Shouldn’t reconstruction be the responsibility of those who inflicted the damage?

This debate takes the World Bank into the troubled water of political conditionality on economic assistance. Ethiopia will raise objections, arguing that the conflict is a domestic affair and donors have no business interfering. It will also say that there are millions of people elsewhere in the country who need donor-financed assistance, such as through the flagship productive safety net programme, which helps poor farmers. An implicit threat lurking is the potential shockwave across Africa and beyond should a country of 110m people lurch into nationwide crisis.

But the war in Tigray isn’t a regrettable bump on the road to reform. A long war will devour Ethiopia’s resources, harden its authoritarian turn and deter investment.

It is not too late to turn the country back from its track towards famine, protracted conflict and impoverishment. It starts with a ceasefire, so that aid can reach the hungry and farmers can plant. The agricultural calendar means this can’t wait. Next is peace negotiations including the agenda of restitution and reconstruction. Rebuilding will be an expense for the cash-strapped government of Ethiopia, but essential to restore its reputation as a credible partner for investors and donors.

The directors of the World Bank and IMF cannot shy away from these hard issues when they consider Ethiopian requests for additional funds over the coming weeks. They should not fund Ethiopia’s self-destruction, but instead use their leverage to insist on an end to war and starvation.



Posted in Ethiopia, Health, Infos, Life | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Famine in Tigray:‘I Have Never Documented Anything as Relentless & Systematic as What We’re Seeing’

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on April 9, 2021

አምስት ወራት ስቃይ፣ ግፍ፣ ሰቆቃ በትግራይ፤ ሆኖም ትግራዋይ ያልሆኑት ግን “ኢትዮጵያውያን ነን + ሰብዓዊ ነን + ተዋሕዶ ነን” የሚሉት ወገኖች ጸጥ፣ ጭጭ፤ ምን አገባን? ብለዋል። እንዳውም ይባስ ብለው በሃፍረትና በጸጸት ተድብቀው  በማልቀስ ፈንታ የትግራይን እናቶች እንባና ጩኸት በድፍረትና በፈሮዖናዊ ዕብሪት ለመንጠቅ ሲሉ ሰሞኑን ሰልፍ ወጥተው በመጮኽ ላይ ናቸው፤ በጣም ነው የሚያሳዝነው፤ ግን ምን ይደረግ የአቤል ደም ጩኸት እያቅበዘበዛቸው እኮ ነው! ገና ምኑን አይተው! አይ አለመታደል!

Let’s pay attention to all the present and past Ethiopian leaders who waged endless wars against the Tigrayan people, and tried to exterminate the Tigrayan Christian population weaponizing hunger and creating famine in Tigray are all ethnic Oromos/ mixed Amahras (Oromaras) . It is very important to acknowledge this sad but relevant fact.

Another phenomenon: The #TigrayGenocide is Five-month-old – and Tigray – which is the cradle of Ethiopian Civilization/ Christianity — is burning – still the non-Tigrayan Ethiopians’ silence is deafening or they give some unempathetic responses we’ve ever seen and experienced as Ethiopians. Very sad, indeed!

Amhara & Oromo Elite Used/ Using Hunger as a Weapon against People in Tigray:-

👉 1. Menelik II. (1844 – 1913)

The Great Ethiopian Famine of 1888-1892

The great famine is estimated to have caused 3.5 million deaths.

👉 2. Haile Selassie (1892 – 1975)

Between 2 and 5 million’ people died between 1958 and 1977 as a cumulative result. Haile Selassie, who was emperor at the time, refused to send any significant basic emergency food aid to the province of Tigray.

👉 3. Mengistu Hailemariam (1937 – )

1979 – 1985 + 1987

Due to organized government policies that deliberately multiplied the effects of the famine, around 1.2 million people died from this famine. Mengistu & his Children still alive & ‘well’ while Tigrayans are again starving.

👉 4. Abiy Ahmed Ali (1976 – )

2018 – Until today: 500.000 already dead. Unlike the past famine there is no natural or man-made drought, rather, Abiy simply uses war and hunger as a weapon. Abiy Ahmed sent his kids to America for safety, while bombing & starving Tigrayan kids!

🔥 Famine in Tigray: ‘I have never documented anything as relentless & systematic as what we’re seeing’

Without an end to the fighting in Tigray, its people will face starvation more devastating than the “biblical famine” that tore through the region in the 1980s, according to a heavily-detailed survey by researchers from the US-based World Peace Foundation.

The report, entitled: ‘How Armed Conflict and Mass Atrocities Have Destroyed an Ethiopian Region’s Economy and Food System and Are Threatening Famine’, was released on 6 April.

Since the first foray into the Tigray by the Ethiopian government in Addis Ababa back in November, the following months have seen an entirely man-made humanitarian crisis unfold.

This report documents how both Ethiopian and Eritrean elements in this Tigray war have single-handedly dismantled the region’s economic and food system.

Of all the 5.7 million people in Tigray, should the offensive continue, at least 4.5 million people will face deadly shortages of food, medicine and water, Alex de Waal, executive director of the WPF tells The Africa Report.

But this can be stopped if the majority of the Tigrayan people, many of whom are are smallholder farmers, are able to farm in time for the rains in June.

“In order for that to happen, you don’t just need to get food and medicine. You actually need to stabilise the security situation so that farmers can plant. And many of them have had their oxen stolen or slaughtered. They don’t have tools. They don’t have seeds. They need medicine to stay in their villages. And labourers need to be able to move around freely. So we need a cessation of hostilities urgently,” de Waal says.


Posted in Conspiracies, Ethiopia, Infos, Life | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

President Joe Biden’s Brewing Problem in Ethiopia

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on April 9, 2021

Written by Alex de Waal

💭 “ዚህ ትርምስ ተጠያቂው ዐብይ ነው።ሁሉም መስክ ስህተት በጽሟል። እሱ ከተገባው በላይ ቃል ገብቷል ፣ ለእውነታው የተሳሳተ ምስል ሰጥቷል ፣ አላስፈላጊ ጠላቶችን አፍርቷል እናም እራሱን ወደ አደገኛ ህብረት ቆልፏል። የተሃድሶ እና የሰላም ማስፈን ንግግሩን በአንድ ጊዜ የተቀበሉ ሰዎች እጅግ በጣም የዋሆችናቸው። እሱ የመግባባትገንቢ አይደለም ፣ ይልቁንም የፖላራይዜሽን/ በተቃራኒ ጎራዎች ማሰለፊያ ወኪል ነው። ምናልባት ለመጪው የአሜሪካ ዲፕሎማሲ ቡድን እጅግ በጣም ጠቃሚው ነጥብ የኢትዮጵያ መሪ በማን አለብኝነት እና ደካማ አስተሳሰብ/ፍርድ ፈንጂ የሆነ ጥምረትን ያሳየ በመሆኑ ለድርድር የማይታመን ሰው ነው ተለዋዋጭ በሆነ ክልል የ፻፲/110 ሚሊዮን ህዝብ ደካማ ሀገርመሪ ለመሆን በቅቷል። ግልጽ የሆነ መፍትሔ የለም፤ ከገሃነም የመጣ ችግር ነው።

💭 “At the center of this chaos is Abiy. At every turn he has blundered. He has overpromised, mistaken image for reality, made needless enemies and locked himself into dangerous alliances. Those who once embraced his rhetoric of reform and peacemaking are looking naïve at best. He’s not a consensus-builder, rather an agent of polarization. Perhaps most significantly for the incoming U.S. diplomatic team, the Ethiopian leader has demonstrated an explosive combination of hubris and poor judgement that make him an unreliable interlocutor — sitting atop a fragile country of 110 million people in a volatile region. There’s no obvious solution: it’s a problem from hell.”

👉 /100% ትክክል! 👍

War broke out in the Tigray region of Ethiopia in November. Five months later, the scale of the carnage, destruction, and destabilization is becoming evident.

The spark for the fighting was an attack on army bases by soldiers loyal to the region’s ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front which was at odds with the federal government headed by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. But wars don’t happen overnight: the European Union, International Crisis Group, and many others issued warnings. Most worryingly, Eritrea — with whom Prime Minister Abiy had made a much-heralded peace agreement in 2018 — had a scarcely-hidden war plan.

Abiy’s initial goal was cutting the TPLF down to size. But his coalition partners’ war aims appear to go much further. For Eritrea’s President Isaias Afewerki, the aim is nothing less than the extermination of any Tigrayan political or economic capability. For the militia from the neighboring Amhara region it is a land grab — described by the U.S. State Department as “ethnic cleansing.”

Since then, we have learned of massacres, mass rape, ransacking of hospitals, and hunger as a weapon of war. It’s an urgent humanitarian crisis—and a threat to international peace and security.

For the first month, the Trump administration endorsed the war, backing up Abiy’s depiction of it as a domestic “law enforcement operation” and praising Eritrea for ‘restraint’ — at a time when divisions of the Eritrean army had poured over the border and reports of their atrocities were already filtering out.

The Biden administration is building a sensible policy — but is hampered by the slow process of putting its senior team in place. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made reasonable demands. President Biden dispatched Senator Chris Coons to convey how seriously Washington is taking the crisis. A special envoy for the Horn of Africa — reported to be the senior diplomat Jeffrey Feldman — is due to be appointed, short-cutting the process of confirming an Assistant Secretary of State for Africa. The new USAID Director Samantha Power, a passionate advocate of action against mass atrocity, is awaiting confirmation.

But Biden’s approach is not working. To be precise, the Ethiopian government is providing just enough of a plausible impression of compliance to postpone or dilute effective action.

Blinken’s first demand was that Eritrean forces should withdraw. This pushed Abiy — after months of dissembling — to admit that the Eritrean army was actually present and that he would request Pres. Isaias to pull them back. Abiy’s problem is that if Eritrea withdraws, he loses Tigray: the Tigrayan resistance would overwhelm his depleted army. Isaias is a veteran operator and he has prepared for this: his security agents and special forces are now so strategically placed inside Ethiopia that Abiy’s fragile government would be endangered if he withdrew.

Second, the U.S. insisted on a ceasefire and political negotiations. This is essential to stop the battlefield slaughter — thousands were killed in combat in March—and the ongoing scorched earth campaign that is reducing Tigray’s economy to the stone age. But Abiy rejected this. He and Isaias appear determined to try one more offensive to vanquish the Tigrayan Defense Forces. What they fail to see is that inflicting atrocities only stiffens the resolve of the Tigrayans to fight back. Speaking on April 3 Abiy belatedly conceded that a “difficult and tiresome” guerrilla war is in prospect — but he has made no mention of peace talks.

Third, Blinken demanded unfettered humanitarian access for international relief agencies to provide food and medicine for to the starving. He might have added, without a pause in the fighting, farmers cannot prepare their lands for cultivation. The agricultural cycle brooks no delay: ploughing needs to begin soon, before the rains come in June. If there’s no harvest this year, hunger will deepen.

The World Food Program and international agencies are reaching about 1.2 million of the 4.5 million people estimated to need emergency relief. But there are reports that as soon as food is distributed, soldiers sweep through and take it from civilians at gunpoint. The aid effort is, at the moment, too little and too late.

Last, there should be an independent investigation into reports of atrocities, which the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights has begun, but in partnership with the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission. This has the drawback that it’s unrealistic to expect the staff of an Ethiopian government body—whatever their personal integrity—to withstand the personal pressure that the authorities will put on them. And many Tigrayans will automatically reject their findings as biased.

The United States has other policies in this complicated mix too. Last year, the Treasury took on the task of trying to mediate in the Nile Waters dispute between Ethiopia and Egypt. Abiy inherited a huge dam, under construction on the Blue Nile, from his predecessors. It’s a point of national pride, the centerpiece of Ethiopia’s development. Egypt sees any upstream state controlling the Nile waters as an existential threat.

To protect the “Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam” project, Ethiopia’s ministry of foreign affairs had constructed a coalition of African riparian states, which isolated Egypt and minimized the danger of direct confrontation. Abiy upended this: 18 months ago he went into direct talks with Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who invited the United States to mediate — confident that the Trump administration would lean his way. Sudan, the other party to the talks, had no option but to line up with Cairo and Washington. By the time he had realized his error, Abiy was stuck, and the scenario foreseen by his diplomats was unfolding: Ethiopia was the one isolated as Egypt pressed home its advantage and the United States suspended some aid. Since then the talks have repeatedly broken down, with each side escalating its rhetoric.

To compound the error, in preparing for his assault on Tigray, Abiy antagonized Sudan. A few days before the war, he asked Sudanese leader General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan to seal the Sudanese border. He hadn’t anticipated that this would trample over a delicate live-and-let-live border agreement, whereby the Sudanese allowed Ethiopian farmers to cultivate land inside their territory. They were ethnic Amharas. In sealing the frontier, the Sudanese troops drove those villagers out — enraging the powerful Amhara regional government and igniting a needless border conflict.

To complicate the picture still further, Isaias’s planned axis of autocracy extends through Ethiopia to Somalia. A painstaking process of stabilizing and reconstructing Somalia is imperiled by President Mohamed Farmajo’s failure to agree an electoral timetable with the opposition, and refusal to step down when his term of office expired in February. Farmajo’s special presidential forces have been trained in Eritrea and many Somalis believe that he plans to use them to impose a military solution on his rivals.

The African peace and security order lies wrecked. The African Union has failed to act. Ethiopian diplomacy and pressure (the organization’s headquarters are in Addis Ababa) has kept Ethiopia’s war and Eritrea’s destabilization of the wider region off the AU agenda. Abiy rebuffed African mediators and convinced enough of his fellow African leaders that it was a purely domestic affair to prevent an African consensus position against the war. In turn, Africa’s inaction gave a green light to Russia and China to threaten to veto any resolution at the UN Security Council. Last month, the U.S. tried and failed this route. This passes the baton to the U.S. and Europe acting alone — at the G7 last week and next week at the Spring meetings of the World Bank and IMF.

At the center of this chaos is Abiy. At every turn he has blundered. He has overpromised, mistaken image for reality, made needless enemies and locked himself into dangerous alliances. Those who once embraced his rhetoric of reform and peacemaking are looking naïve at best. He’s not a consensus-builder, rather an agent of polarization. Perhaps most significantly for the incoming U.S. diplomatic team, the Ethiopian leader has demonstrated an explosive combination of hubris and poor judgement that make him an unreliable interlocutor — sitting atop a fragile country of 110 million people in a volatile region.

There’s no obvious solution: it’s a problem from hell.



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