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Why The U.S. Should Call The Famine And Violence in Tigray A Genocide

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on October 7, 2021

💭 አሜሪካ ለምን በትግራይ የሰፈነውን ረሃቡን እና ሁከቱን የዘር ማጥፋት ወንጀል ብላ ልትጠራው እንደሚገባት

👉 From The Washington Post.

Over the past 11 months, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government has killed, raped and tortured ethnic-minority Tigrayans en masse. Will the Biden administration label these acts a genocide and impose appropriate consequences? If not, the United States will effectively greenlight genocide for any leader ruthless enough to follow Abiy’s playbook of secrecy, sexual violence and starvation as weapons of war.

The case against Abiy’s administration is straightforward: His government’s actions, as described by countless international monitors, fit the United Nations’ definition of genocide.

The United Nations defines genocide as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group,” and calls out five specific acts of genocide. The Ethiopian government has been documented as committing four of these five acts: “killing members of the group,” “imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group,” “causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group” and “deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction.”

Let’s review the evidence.

Upon invading Tigray in November 2020, Abiy’s government severed all communication and restricted access to Tigray. Terrified relatives overseas had no way to check on their loved ones. Abiy’s commitment to secrecy was so strong that his forces shot at and arrested U.N. aid workers trying to help refugees in Tigray. By February, a bewildered Jan Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, wrote that in his 40 years of humanitarian work, he had “rarely seen an aid response so impeded.”

In the face of mounting international condemnation, Abiy infamously told the Ethiopian parliament last November that not one civilian had died in Tigray.

But in Ethiopia we have a proverb, “The rod of truth may bend, but it will never break.” Journalists and aid workers risked their lives to share harrowing accounts of war crimes across Tigray by Ethiopian and Eritrean forces: hundreds of civilians slaughtered outside a church in Ethiopia’s holy city of Axum, their rotting carcasses reportedly left for hyenas; dozens of civilians bombed by Ethiopian warplanes at a crowded marketplace in Togoga; mass murders across Western Tigray that Secretary of State Antony Blinken later referred to as acts of “ethnic cleansing.”

And then the world learned of new, unimaginable atrocities. Health clinics reported barbaric sexual violence against women and girls across Tigray. Shocked doctors treated helpless women whose vaginas had been burned, and others whose vaginas had been pummeled, then stuffed with nails and stones. Other women had been gang-raped by soldiers who told them that their Tigrayan wombs must never again bear children. In August, Amnesty International summarized this systematic gender-based violence in a report titled, “I Don’t Know if They Realized I Was a Person.”

Throughout all this, Abiy maintained a constant response to accusations of war crimes: Deny, deny, deny. Deflect and blame Tigray.

When the Tigray Defense Forces routed Abiy’s armies from Tigray’s capital, Abiy’s government amped up genocidal language against Tigrayans, referring to them publicly as “weeds,” “cancer” and “daytime hyenas.”

Abiy then turned to the most consistent part of his playbook: the use of starvation as a weapon of war against civilians. Today, 79 percent of expectant and lactating mothers screened by the United Nations are malnourished, and at least 5 million Tigrayans face starvation.

Just this past week, Abiy shocked the world by expelling U.N. officials who could help relieve the famine, including the country head of UNICEF. White House press secretary Jen Psaki noted, “We’re deeply concerned that this action continues a pattern by the Ethiopian government of obstructing the delivery of food, medicine and other lifesaving supplies to those most in need.”

With his administration increasingly facing sanctions and economic repercussions, Abiy has warned the world to not meddle in Ethiopia. He and his government claim that any actions to force humanitarian aid into the region — or force his government to negotiate with Tigray’s elected leaders — would violate Ethiopia’s sovereignty.

By this rationale, any genocidal leader can murder millions of his own people, or wipe out an entire ethnic group, as long he does it within his own borders.

If the Biden administration fails to apply the genocide designation to Tigray, the message will be clear to any future war criminal: We will look the other way no matter what you do. You can gang rape girls, starve your people, murder masses of civilians, and in response we will share only toothless statements of concern.

For the sake of my people in Tigray, and people across the world, the United States must immediately call the Ethiopian government’s actions in Tigray a genocide.

Source

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Ethiopia’s Tigrayans Rounded Up, Mutilated & Dismembered In Civil War Ethnic Purge

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on September 5, 2021

Sources said that after a series of victories by Tigrayan Defence Forces, the occupying forces in Humera started to purge ethnic Tigrayans.

Courtesy: The Tlegraph

By Lucy Kassa

Forces occupying a major city in Ethiopia are throwing thousands of men, women and children into makeshift “concentration camps”, cutting off limbs and dumping mutilated bodies into mass graves as part of an orchestrated ethnic purge, a dozen separate witnesses told The Telegraph.

Ethnic Amhara forces have been going “door-to-door” to round up anyone who is ethnic Tigrayan in the latest harrowing evidence of population cleansing in Ethiopia’s blood-drenched civil war.

“Feven Berhe was an innocent resident who owned a small shop. They took her to Tekeze river and shot her,” said one resident, who knew the 40-year-old victim well.

“Before they killed her, they removed her eyes and cut off her legs. They did not let anyone pick her body up and bury her.”

Humera is a city of about 50,000 near Ethiopia’s border with Eritrea and Sudan. Because of its strategic location, it was one of the first places to be attacked when Ethiopia’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrea’s dictator launched a devastating pincer attack to crush Tigray’s regional government in November.

For the last year, ethnic Amhara forces, who hail from a neighbouring region and are allied to the Nobel laureate, have controlled the city, along with swathes of western Tigray.

Sources said that after a stunning series of victories by the Tigrayan Defence Forces in late June, the occupying forces in Humera started to purge ethnic Tigrayans in the city.

The Telegraph understands that on 15 July, Amhara forces held a public meeting in the main municipality hall in Humera to decide the fate of Tigrayans in the areas they controlled.

“They said this; ‘We should exterminate all Tigrayan residents in the city. We must cleanse them all,” said one man who claims he attended the public meeting.

Multiple residents said that a massive campaign of arrests started soon after the meeting.

“They have been going from house to house arresting everyone. No Tigrayan is left except those who fled to Sudan or found a hiding place in the city. They have a list of Tigrayan residents from the administrative offices,” said another man.

“If it is written in your identity card that you are Tigrayan, there is no mercy,” said another.

Children displaced by fighting in northern Ethiopia play among sacks of clothes at the Addis Fana School where they are temporarily sheltered,

At the beginning of August, 43 bloated and bloodied bodies were found floating down the Tekeze River, which separates the region from Sudan.

The Telegraph understands that these were some of the original victims of the purge. Residents say that when the floating bodies attracted huge international attention, Amhara forces started dumping bodies elsewhere.

Elderly people, children and pregnant women have all been taken to several detention centres and three different warehouses across the city, which have been turned into makeshift “concentration camps”, survivors said.

The Telegraph could not confirm these accounts because of major reporting restrictions in Tigray.

However, imagery analysis by Vigil Monitor (previously DX Open Network), an atrocity early warning and detection research organisation based in the UK, shows that ethnic Amhara forces and allied Ethiopian troops have been stationed at ‘numerous’ centres for the past few months.

One man the Telegraph spoke to called Gizau claimed that he had escaped one of the centres by convincing militiamen he was not fully ethnic Tigrayan.

“We were 250 detainees. The Amhara forces take detainees every night and bring new ones. The ones they take never come back,” he said.

Gizau and ten other witnesses said that people were being killed and dumped in pits around the three warehouses and in craters outside the city.

Satellite imagery partially corroborates the sources. It shows a pit roughly the size of a swimming pool outside one of the warehouses, which has been gradually filled up since mid-July.

There is a similar pattern of suspicious pits being filled up slowly over the same time period at the other locations.

“There are very suspicious holes in the ground next to the camps, in an area where no other hole gets filled with earth,” say analysts at Vigil Monitor.

The state president for Ethiopia’s Amhara region Agegnuh Teshager and the Ethiopian Prime Minister’s Office were both approached for comment on The Telegraph’s findings bit neither responded.

*Names have been changed in this article to protect identities.

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