For years I opposed the TPLF, but I also oppose this war on Tigray


By Goitom Tsegay on

As a result of the war in Tigray, the region is in chaos and suffering a severe humanitarian crisis. Tigrayans are living in fear and suffering en masse.


Although the government has claimed that the conflict ended on 28 November with the capture of Mekele, it is still going on. For instance, there are reports of fighting in mid-January from the UN in Western, North-Western, Central, East, and South-East Tigray zones.

The federal government called the war a “law enforcement operation,” and said that its three objectives are disarming the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the regional ruling party dubbed a “junta”, replace it with an interim administration (the deputy leader of my party, Arena Tigray for Democracy and Sovereignty, Abraha Desta was appointed the social affairs cabinet member), and bring wanted TPLF leaders to justice.

However, information coming out of the region indicates that atrocities with no connection with those objectives have been commonplace: The killing of civilians, looting of properties, destruction of towns, rape, and violent evictions by Amhara groups and Eritrean forces are among the horrors.

The destruction began in the early stages of the war.

Following the entrance of the Ethiopian National Defense Force and Amhara regional forces, there were many such reports. For instance, in Humera, after the city was captured early in the war, banks, hospitals, and private homes were looted, mostly by Amhara forces.

Residents in the capital, Mekelle, have also spoken about widespread looting and vandalism in the city—although some of that was reportedly committed by people released from prison amid the chaotic removal of Tigray’s government.

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