As stated on 1998 Rome statute Article 7- crime against humanity is:
- a wide spread or systematic attack directed against civilian population,
- with intention and knowledge to harm,
- the attack includes murder, violation of fundamental rules of international law, imprisonment, deprivation of liberty and more,
- On Article 7(h) the crime is also ‘’persecution against identifiable group collectively on political, ethnic, cultural and religious grounds…
While Rwanda is bringing the perpetrators of Genocide 1994, Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia is starting one in Tigray/ Ethiopia.
The TPLF, Tigrayan People Liberation Front, a name adopted during its formation of armed struggle in 1975 to fight the dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam a Military regime, who snatched power by force after toppling Emperor Haileselasie, in 1974. Mengistu was later overthrown in 1991.
The TPLF and others who were fighting against the Marxist Mengistu, formed a coalition after deposing Mengistu in 1991. TPLF was one of the key players of the five coalition fronts that became a government as EPRDF, Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). The EPRDF government registered a double-digit economic progress in Ethiopia until 2018.
Ethiopia is the second populous country in Africa. It has (110 million) people, over eighty ethnicities, four of them with most population; the two dominant one being the Oromo and the Amhara. EPRDF brought a Federal constitution that formed nine ethnic federal regions, now ten. The Federal constitution stipulates, the rights of regions for an autonomic rule and the right for self-determination up to secession.
Late Meles Zenawi, ethnic Tigrayan remained the Prime Minster till his death in 2012, Hailemariam Desalegne an ethnic Wolyita, became the Prime Minster. His time was challenged with so much unrest in Oromia and he stayed in power from 2012-2018. In March 2018, the EPRDF declared to reform itself. As a result, gave the Premiership to Abiy who was a member of the Oromo Party in the coalition. While the story is as above, the world perception remains different, narrating that TPLF was resentful group losing its dominance within EPRDF.
The TPLF was one of the members of the EPRDF organisation who participated to appoint Abiy Ahmed in 2018. It was not contesting for premiership since late Prime Minister. The EPRDF coalition, appointed Abiy Ahmed to be a Prime Minster until the following National Election, in May 2020.
Abiy brought peace for the people Eritrea and Ethiopia. One of the reasons he got the Nobel Prize 2019. Ethiopia and Eritrea were stuck in ‘no war no peace’ situation for eighteen years. Abiy broke the stalemate between Eritrea and Ethiopia. The borders between Tigray and Eritrea were open. However, before the euphoria subsided, the borders shortly shut for no explained reason. Nonetheless, a stronger personal relationship between Abiy Ahmed and the Eritrea’s President, remained. Recently, Abiy visited the Eritrean Military camps, while Esaias also was shown the Ethiopian Air Force.
Abiy dissolved EPRDF with no election, created his own new party known as, Prosperity Party (PP). He postponed the 2020 election before the news of corona was even in the atmosphere. He used the Pandemic as a pretext, while the death toll in May 2020 was just seven people out of 110 million population.
Abiy instigated so much hate between various ethnics; vigorously, ethnic tension towards Tigrayans. As soon as Abiy came to power, he supported ethnic Amhara’s; who falsely accused Tigray annexed a land of Amhara so should return those contested lands.
Ten thousand Tigrayans were expelled from Amhara region in 2018/19. He labelled Tigrayans as day light Hyenas and the 27yrs of EPRDF rule which he was part as ‘twenty-seven dark years’
Tigrayans who lived for generations in Gondar, Wollo, Gojam, had their business looted, burnt confiscated and evicted empty handed. Doctors were killed and stoned while at work. Tigrayans in some region were hunted like a fox, labelled as cactus, locust eaters, gypsies, Arabs and lot.
Abiy wanted to blame and extend the election indefinitely. TPLF refused to accept his plot to overstay and his hunger to rule by decree, because he has no constitutional mandate. TPLF condemned his abrogation to Ethiopia’s Federal constitution.
Tigray, using its constitutional right, held a regional election. Four opposition parties including TPLF took part on 9th September 2020. The TPLF was elected by the majority vote to govern Tigray. Abiy felt undermined the fact that under all these pressure Tigray managed to keep peace, law and order exposed his incompetence. Abiy has no capacity to lead a complex and diverse country such as Ethiopia. His philosophy ‘Medemer’, an Amharic word, with literal meaning ‘Adding’, transpired divisive instead.
With all these in mind is why Abiy declared war to on Tigray. Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia launched an air strike in Mekelle, the capital city of Tigray on 4th November 2020 while Britain was observing the Remembrance Day. What started as unjust civil war last week, is now heading to be an international war, by Eritrea tangling itself in support of Abiy Ahmed.
- Crime against humanity is a systematic attack with deliberate intention to harm.
- Article II: convention of crime on genocide means, it is an intent to destroy part or whole, ethnical, racial, national, religious group.
- We warned the international community that Genocide against Tigrayans was on the making since Abiy took power. Systematic psychological war demonising, dismissing from jobs or demoting and forced retirement was imposed on some. while name calling, blackmailing, humiliating, dehumanising, murdering criminalising and ethnic profiling Tigrayans became a norm.
- Abiy allowed roads from Amhara region to Tigray to stay closed for over two years with intention to starve and intimidate.
- Fake documentaries were shown to blame TPLF previous officials; accusing them of fraud, corruption, money laundering, torturing prisoners, stealing etc.
- Two Tigrayans Defence Force Generals, one of them the Head of Ethiopian Defence, were assassinated inside the comfort of their home in 2019.
- Visitors and investors as well as journalists, were prevented from flying to Tigray
- In October last month, Tigrayan long distance runner, was prevented from flying to Valencia to compete until Derartu Tulu the famous Oromo Athlete, rushed to intervene. With all that, the Athlete won and set a new 5000meters record.
3. Deliberately inflicting harm:
- During Covid19, refused to provide Masks and other PPEs to Tigray and students.
- Refused to spray to protect the locust swarm that devastated hundreds and thousands of acres of crop last month. Yet he mocked how the ‘Desert Locusts understand the philosophy of Medemer, his “adding theory’ when they feel the sky.
- He restricted business people their finances from Banks.
Therefore, the current declaration of war is an extension of this systematic genocidal act. The war has already counted a week. We have no idea when it will end.The people of Tigray are encircled with no electric power, telephone line internet, bank, petrol, food, medicine and medical facilities in this pandemic time.
- It was reported last week, that 16 lieutenants and a colonel asked for exile in Djibouti, last week, detesting the unjust war against citizens, but is claimed that they have been deported back against their wishes and in complete violation of the 1951 Geneva Convention.
- Sudan fears over 200,000 people might flee Ethiopia there are already 8000 people who crossed the Border Aljazeera reported.
- If the world hasn’t learnt from genocide in Rwanda in 1994, it hasn’t learnt much. This war is turning to humanitarian emergency unless stopped.
This is a war against humanity, unless the international community put pressure on Abiy to stop the war, it can ignite another conflict in the Horn of Africa which will destabilise the whole continent with far reaching consequences.